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Better regulation needed in trade & consumer affairs - Commentators

Citing complaints over the years by businesses such as retail stores and small business owners among others, commentators have called on government to take a stronger look at trade and consumer affairs within the territory. Photo: VINO/File
Business Consultant (Ag) and Director for Trade and Consumer Affairs Mr. Kevin C. Smith. Photo: Facebook
Business Consultant (Ag) and Director for Trade and Consumer Affairs Mr. Kevin C. Smith. Photo: Facebook
Host of the Umoja show, Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka, encouraged government to strengthen the trade and consumer affairs department. Photo: VINO
Host of the Umoja show, Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka, encouraged government to strengthen the trade and consumer affairs department. Photo: VINO
Co-host, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru felt there are examples of regulation around that are supposed to improve how the market functions by providing greater competition and defending against monopolising and unfair business practices in the territory. Photo: VINO/File
Co-host, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru felt there are examples of regulation around that are supposed to improve how the market functions by providing greater competition and defending against monopolising and unfair business practices in the territory. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Citing complaints over the years by businesses such as retail stores and small business owners among others, commentators have called on government to take a stronger look at trade and consumer affairs within the territory.

Host of the Umoja show, Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka, encouraged government to strengthen the trade and consumer affairs department last evening, September 26, 2013.

He felt this could be done by adding greater human and financial resources and to set a vision and mission in the department that would speak to ensuring that there were level playing fields in the marketplace, fair competition, safety in product sales and an avenue for consumer redress.

“That is what I’m hoping the government would start looking into because this has been going on for far too long and we’ve been complaining about it,” he said.

Co-host, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru noted that it was progressive for the Virgin Islands to possess a Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) which is tasked with the responsibility of regulating the telecommunications industry.

“Sometimes we have this attitude that we can’t regulate,” Wheatley expressed.

He felt there are examples of regulation around that are supposed to improve how the market functions by providing greater competition and defending against monopolising and unfair business practices in the territory.

“It’s interesting that we see regulation as being effective in this area but we can’t translate it to other areas in our brains,” Wheatley said.

Smith said he was unaware whether there was a retail organisation in existence which could bring lobbying efforts to bear on the administrations. Wheatley suggested that perhaps a consumer group should be formed.

However, Smith argued that it was reasonable to expect that if the territory has a trade and consumer affairs department that that department should be looking into unfair business practices, uneven playing fields, unfair competition, price gouging and making sure that products that are sold on the shelf are safe.

He further stated, “There’s a whole lot that a trade and consumer affairs department needs to be doing in protecting the consumer and making sure that there is a level of safety and fairness in the marketplace.”

Smith said he could not see that there is a need for a lobbying group, particularly in such a small territory, when there is clearly a department set up that should be monitoring and ensuring that the residents of the territory get fairness and are looked after.

7 Responses to “Better regulation needed in trade & consumer affairs - Commentators”

  • P*ss (27/09/2013, 08:13) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I certainly agree, every week a new hair salon opening up in the market. The government also need to look into the practice where locals are obtaining trade license for expats. Non sense if you ask me.................
  • insider (27/09/2013, 08:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    just more blah blah blah government will not touch this with a ten foot poll
  • Standards (27/09/2013, 10:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes better regulation is needed. Unfortunately a Trading Standards dept, or consumer affairs dept which represent the consumer is very unlikely here. Businesses are owned and run by locals who in many cases fail to grasp the concept of customer service, and the customer is right. Because of this any consumer complaints will fall on the deaf ears of those remarkably unbothered.
    There is though a good following on social media articulating common complaints. Perhaps the Government should address some of these issues and show some interest in the consumer.
  • Jim Jones aka Bunc Hofc Rap (27/09/2013, 16:05) Like (4) Dislike (56) Reply
    Why did these two boys make up the names Edju En Ka and Sowande Uhuru? Aren't they proud of the names their parents gave them? What disrespect?
  • indigenous (27/09/2013, 17:05) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    They are the only two indigenous people in the BVI.....hehehehehehehehehehehehehehe
  • Eagle and Buffalo (27/09/2013, 23:20) Like (1) Dislike (63) Reply
    Consumers affairs function is to protect and safeguard the health and safety of consumers. As such, it must develop policies, procedures and standards and it must aggressively enforced these requirements. Consumer Affairs can recommend how to set pricing or how to deliver good customer service but it cannot force businesses to confirm.
  • @Eagle (28/09/2013, 22:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Like u touched a raw nerve...mi like dat..


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