FIJI GOVERNMENT MINISTER CALLS FOR MORE MARKETPLACE COMPETITION

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 15, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Fiji's Trade and Commerce Minister, Isimeli Bose, has reiterated his government's commitment to competition in the marketplace, saying it is the driving force behind business efficiency and productivity.

The gains resulting from such competition, he said, include lower prices and better quality products and services for consumers.

At a workshop today, to mark World Consumer Rights Day, the Minister said although a number of Fiji's public utilities now operate as state monopolies, it will not be the case for long.

Also, he said, a recent amendment to Fiji's Fair Trading Act calls for the establishment of a Commerce Commission, which Bose stressed will ensure that any Government-owned monopolies operate in the consumers' interest.

He said the new commission will administer regulatory matters relating to trade and commerce, including competition and pricing, and consumer protection.

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