The role of media as a crucial partner in disseminating information to foster competition and smart consumer culture in achieving a healthy market and enhanced consumer welfare was underscored in a media engagement workshop recently.
The workshop was organised by the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) in the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS), Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE), in collaboration with the Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), with the objective of strengthening public awareness of the three laws enforced by the DCCA, namely: the Competition Order, the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Order and the Price Control Act, through a collaborative approach with the media.
The session discussed in detail on the scope and the key prohibitions of the three laws and how effective implementation of the laws can serve as building blocks to promote a healthy market, which can create business opportunities and boost domestic consumption and contribute to growth, as aspired in the Wawasan 2035.
The session shared that DCCA's functions in promoting a well-functioning market are supported by the Competition Division and Consumer Affairs Division. The Competition Division is the Executive Secretariat of the Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam (CCBD) which is responsible for enforcing the Competition Order through prohibiting anti2 competitive business conducts such as cartels. Meanwhile, the Consumer Affairs Division enforces Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Order through prohibiting unfair trade practices which can mislead consumers. It was highlighted that the Department's price regulating role, in the Consumer Affairs Division is only limited to specific essential goods listed in the Price Control Act and specific food essentials during festive seasons. This is to minimise distortive interventions, in line with the national agenda to promote healthy and dynamic business environment which offers the people benefits from vibrant and competitive domestic market.
Beside enforcement work through handling complaints, advocacy plays an integral if not equally important role to instill competition culture and smart consumer society. On this, the DCCA expressed gratitude to the media in their constant support and hope to achieve even more through media collaboration in reaching the public on the benefits and importance of a competitive market in creating business opportunities and growth, consumers rights and addressing any misconceptions related to price issues, as well as promoting compliance of the laws, in supporting this national initiative towards the Wawasan 2035 long term economic goals.
The session was participated by 12 journalists mainly specialising in business and economics news, representing various media agencies, including online media.