Consumer Council Hosts Tongan Delegation

27/04/2017 16:29

In continuing efforts to promote networking in consumer protection at a regional level, the Consumer Council is hosting a three member delegation from Tonga for a week to understudy the work of the Council and to take part in hands-on training sessions.

The delegates are the staff members of the Consumer Affairs Division under the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour in Tonga. This is the second time the Council is hosting attaché’s from Tonga. The attachment has been initiated and funded by the Tongan Ministry. 

The objective of the attachment is to enhance the skills and capacity building of the staff of the Council and Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour, Tonga. It is envisaged that the knowledge exchange and policy transfer will empower the delegates to embark deeper into consumer affairs in their country.

During their attachment period the delegates will be provided with adequate information and knowledge on the roles and functions of the Council.  They will get practical experience on the market surveys, price checks, complaints handling and campaign activities conducted by the Council on a regular basis. Learning by doing will certainly boost confidence in dealing with policy makers, consumers and traders in any marketplace.

 Previously, the Council has had delegates from Vanuatu, Kiribati, New Caledonia and Tonga who were attached to comprehend the significance of consumer protection and consumer organisation at the national level.

The Councils hopes that such study tours will be the catalyst for change in the Pacific Island Countries. It is important to note that Consumer Council of Fiji is the only consumer organisation in the South Pacific Region after Australia and New Zealand.

It is anticipated that the week-long attachment will greatly enhance the skills of the delegates who can then filter the information to their colleagues and promote establishment of consumer organisation similar to the Council.

The knowledge gained will further allow them to combat unfair trade practices and lobby for policy change to create a fair marketplace for the consumers in Tonga.