The first international conference – Competition and Consumer rights held in Georgia
The first international conference about the competition policy enforcement and protection of consumer rights was held in Tbilisi. On a two-day conference – Competition and Consumer Rights, organized by five regulatory authorities of Georgia (National Competition Agency of Georgia, GNERC, National Bank of Georgia, Communications Commission and Insurance State Supervision Service of Georgia), different topics were discussed, including the competition law, mechanisms for consumer rights protection and the activities carried out by regulatory authorities. Apart from the representatives of Georgian Government and Parliament, diplomatic corps, friend countries, business, non-governmental and academic sectors and the sector specialists, the conference had honourable guests - delegations of 20 countries, including Ms. Teresa Moreira, the Head of the Competition and Consumer Policies Branch at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and other international experts.
Mr. Davit Onoprishvili, head of ISSSG addressed the audience with a welcome speech and highlighted the importance of consumer rights protection within free and fair competition, focusing on the work of ISSSG in this area.
"We have significantly strengthened the direction of consumer rights protection in recent years. In this regard, we have implemented many changes in relevant regulatory acts, to ensure approximation with European standards in the area of consumer rights protection. As you may know, internationally, promotion of financial education is recognized as a critical mechanism for the promotion of consumer rights protection. For this purpose, in addition to participation in the implementation of the national strategy of financial education, in order to promote financial education directly in the field of insurance and raise awareness about insurance issues, ISSSG has acquired a relevant function. ISSSG, apart from direct monitoring of insurers' activities, also reviews the consumer complaints regarding possible violations of supervisory norms by insurers. Our office does not spare efforts to protect the rights of consumers and create a fair environment for all," said Davit Onoprishvili.
At the conference dedicated to the enforcement of competition policy and protection of consumer rights, panel discussions were held, where issues like competition policy and sustainable development, competition policy and inter-agency cooperation on regulated market, legal guarantees of consumer rights protection, specifics of the enforcement process and indirect enforcement mechanisms were discussed. Practical experience of Georgia and Europe in the field of consumer rights protection was also reviewed.