Tobagonians will be beneficiaries of strengthened consumer protection and education activities with the signing of an agreement between the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was finalised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Permanent Secretary Norris Herbert and the Administrator of the Division of Finance and the Economy, Denese Toby-Quashie on November 1 at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex in Scarborough. Present at the signing of the MoU were Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, Secretary of Finance and the Economy Joel Jack and the Director of Consumer Protection and Guidance, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dexter Morgan.
The MoU outlines arrangements for strengthening the Consumer Affairs Unit at the THA. These activities will result in collaborations to ensure the resolution of consumer complaints, greater enforcement of existing consumer protection legislation in Tobago with the appointment of a designated officer, the provision of technical support in the research and general capacity building and increased information sharing among consumer protection entities on both islands.
The agreement will cover a three-year period and will support the implementation of the National Consumer Policy launched by the Minister of Trade and Industry in March 2018. The new National Consumer Policy seeks to promote fair trading practices by businesses and assist consumers in making informed purchasing decisions while furthering the mandate of the Consumer Affairs Division of the ministry. It also focuses the division’s activities on advocating for consumer education, building consumer awareness and resolving disputes.