BRADES – Efforts are being made to revive the Montserrat Consumer Association to lead on advocating for the needs of consumers here.
CARICOM is presently conducting a Needs Assessment of all territories ahead of an EU-funded project to supply equipment and support to consumer agencies.
Derk Bienen, of BKP Development Research & Consulting GmbH was on island Thursday to meet with officials in the Ministry of Trade as well as former members of the defunct consumer association, which was set up in 2003.
Beinen has been asked to do a first-hand assessment of all NGOs and agencies which handle consumer affairs. He also sought answers on price control policies and the level of market transparency. He revealed that there are many CARICOM nations who do not have active consumer associations, stating that the preferred option is a non-governmental body rather than have the government police itself.
Local Focal Point Albrun Semper said that in order for Montserrat to benefit from the support which is available under the project, the association would need to be revived. He added that the Ministry of Trade is looking at space where the association can have an office, which is a key factor in the delivery of the service as well as accessing available assistance from CARICOM.
The Consultancy to Strengthen the CSME Regulatory and Market Regimes is funded under the 10th EDF.