March 28, 2006, The Ethiopian Herald

Addis Ababa (ENA) – A two-day regional conference on capacity building on competition policy in selected countries of East and Southern Africa kicks off here yesterday.

Opening the conference, commissioner for the Ethiopian Trade Practice Investigation, Harqa Haroye said unfair trade practices are among the factors contributing to the backwardness of the country.

Harqa said the existence of a fair trade practice is a must for the country to practice free market system thus need to be practiced at all levels.

He said being aware of he impacts of the unfair trade practices on the free market system, the Ethiopian government has enacted trade practices law in 2003 in addition to the establishment of a trade practice investigation commission in the country.

Harqa said this acts of government shows the concern it gave to the development of free market system in the country.

President of the Ethiopian consumer rights protection association, Alemu Jotie, told ENA that the objective of the conference is to create a consultation forum aimed at discussing and investigating the level at which fair trade practices are exercised in some selected Eastern and Southern African countries.

Alemu said the conference and its final research outcomes would contribute for the implementation of fair trade practices in Ethiopia as will as cooperate with the government in enforcing fair trade competition policy in the country.

He said the result of the research would be publicized by June this year.

He said the two-day conference is organised by an Indian-based organisation Consumer Unity & Trust Society International (CUTS International) in cooperation with the Ethiopian Consumer Protection Association.

Participants drawn from 30 countries of Africa, Europe and Asia are taking part in the two-day conference.

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