Monday, October 14, 2013


. The Guest of Honour, Dr. Gerard Chigona, Commissioner in the
Competition and Fair Trading Commission

. Distinguished invited Chief Executive Officers/ Executive
Directors of various companies and organisations

. Directors and all staff of the Competition and Fair Trading

. Members of the press;

. Ladies and Gentlemen.

My simple duty this morning is to invite the Guest of Honour, Dr Gerard Chigona, Commissioner in the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, to officially open our meeting. But before I do so, allow me to say a few remarks.

First of all, I would like to welcome each one of you to this meeting and invite you to feel free. I would like to extend a special welcome to our Guest of Honour,who, despite his busy schedule has set aside time to be with us this morning.

Honestly, I am overwhelmed by the high level attendance of this meeting. I would, therefore, like appreciate the gesture you have shown by sparing your precious time to avail yourselves to this important forum where we will be discussing important issues regarding competition and consumer welfare issues.

This meeting has been organized by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, an autonomous agency of the government mandated to regulate, monitor, control and prevent acts or behaviours which are likely to adversely affect competition and fair trading in Malawi.

The personal presence of Chief Executives here demonstrates the commitment and passion the private sector in Malawi attaches to issues affecting our economy and I do not take this for granted. Your presence further demonstrates the strong working relationship existing between Government and the private sector as crucial partners in driving the development agenda for our beautiful country.

Honourable Minister, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen; as you might have noted from the invitation letters extended to you, the objective of our gathering today is to sensitise one another on the Competition and Fair Trading regulatory framework in Malawi and its attendant obligations placed on various players in our economy.

This meeting is, but, a continuation of the advocacy and engagement strategies that the Competition and Fair Trading Commission has deployed as a means of reaching out to all relevant stakeholders that are deemed crucial in the realisation of the aspirations of the Competition Policy and the Competition and Fair Trading Act.

This is the third in a series of such workshops. The Commission has already met CEOs and the media in Blantyre. Later this week, we will be in Mzuzu.

Guest of Honour, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, as you may be aware, the Competition Policy was adopted in 1997 as part of policy reforms aimed at creating an enabling environment for business growth and economic growth.

Specifically, the Competition Policy seeks to promote economic efficiency in the production and distribution of goods and services and to safeguard consumers. The Policy envisages to achieve this objective by, among others, working towards creating a business environment which is free of restrictive business practices; countering unfair business practices and affording consumers protection from business malpractices.

The Policy targets the following broad areas:
. effecting change to legislation impeding competition and make
appropriate recommendations to relevant institutions;

. checking against business behaviour calculated to eliminate
or reduce competition including price fixing, collusive
tendering or customer allocation and tied sales;

. market structures which permit abuse by an entity in a
position of market power;

. Government legislation which may impact on the operation of
the free market in Malawi; and

. unfair business practices which have a negative impact on
consumer welfare.

We may further wish to remind each other, ladies and gentlemen, that as one way of actualising the aspirations of the Competition Policy, the Government of Malawi passed the Competition and Fair Trading Act in 1998. The Act provides for the creation of Competition and Fair Trading Commission to be responsible for the implementation of the Act.

From the brief background given, it is the wish of the Commission to go full throttle in fulfilling its mandate as provided for by the Law i.e. ensuring efficiency in the economy by preventing unfair trade practices that restrict competition and protecting the welfare of consumers.

While the Act gives the Commission enforcement powers in relation to violation of the provisions of the Act, the Commission’s preference is to encourage voluntary compliance.

This is why the Commission has decided to engage various stakeholders, including private sector, in sensitisation and advocacy campaigns so that we are all aware of our rights and obligations under the Act. It is our expectation that this meeting will contribute to fostering adherence to competition and fair trading principles and therefore, leading to a significant
reduction to anti-competitive and unfair business practices.

The meeting is organised in such a way that members of staff from the Competition and Fair Trading Commission will make presentations on various topics as per the programme circulated; after which we shall all be free to discuss and engage in meaningful debate.

The main topics to be covered will evolve around the following areas:

Overview of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission’s work and agency effectiveness, mergers and acquisitions and how they are regulated, as well as consumer welfare Issues and unfair trading.

Guest of Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the belief that by the end of today’s session, we will all find the discussion enriching and beneficial.

I,therefore, encourage all of us to participate in the sessions and interact to the fullest possible as we aim to develop our country.

With these few remarks, may I invite our Guest of Honour, Commissioner Dr Gerard Chigona, to officially open the meeting.

I thank you all for your attention!

God bless you!

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