Story by Stanley James, Business Editor
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit focusing on the need for member states to comply with competition regulations has opened in Mauritius.
By attending the summit, Zimbabwe’s local industry stands to benefit through complying with set rules on protecting consumer interests.
Regional integration has created opportunities for growth, job creation, increased external earnings and trade.
The drawback has however been unfair trade practices, production of sub standard goods, and monopoly by big firms.
This has seen the consumer being treated unfairly, hence the COMESA Competition Commission is stepping up efforts to stamp out unfair trade practices by firms within the regional trading bloc where Zimbabwe is a member state.
A media presentation in Mauritius this Tuesday revealed the need for local companies to comply with competition regulations to increase their market share in a region whose Gross Domestic Product stands at over US$800 billion.
COMESA Competition Commission chief executive officer, Dr Willard Mwemba said, ‘‘The purpose of the entire commission is to ensure that agreements are done in a manner that promotes fairness. So, Zimbabwe stands to benefit through compliance. However, investigations continue to weed out irregular business practices that hinder the smooth flow of business activities.’’
Mauritius is also presenting huge market opportunities for Zimbabwe’s industry provided the goods and services comply with stipulated competition rules.
Competition Commission of Mauritius – executive director Mr Deshmuk Kowlessur noted, ‘‘As a country, we stand guided by the rules of trade in the region, but like what I have said, it is imperative that as long as the goods and services meet the specified goods, then we are more than ready.’’
The Commission, which is made up of consumers, businesses and governments in COMESA, has reaffirmed its commitment to regulate firms and institutions for the benefit of local consumers.
Some of the initiatives include monitoring mergers or amalgamations, restrictive business practices, assessing the quality of goods and focusing on trade transparency for a huge market boasting more than 600 million people.