UNCTAD has long-standing experience in providing technical assistance and capacity building on competition and consumer protection policies and laws all around the world. Its most successful programme is COMPAL (Competencia y Protección del Consumidor en America Latina – Competition and Consumer Protection for Latin America), which has been running for almost 10 years thanks to the financial support of the Swiss Government. The COMPAL Programme has undergone two external evaluations, which have confirmed its positive impact. In particular, the second evaluation concluded that it was “a successful, worthwhile program” and that it had made “clear contributions to institutional development in Latin America”. The Programme gained such a reputation that many countries in the Latin American region have asked to join, even at their own expense. Indeed, COMPAL started with just five member countries and now counts eight others, who joined through the Regional Component of the Programme, which aims at enhancing regional cooperation. As a result of its success, the Programme’s strategy was “exported” to Africa, namely to the West African Economic Monetary Union (WAEMU), and UNCTAD has recently adopted it as its general strategy for intervention in Competition and Consumer Protection worldwide.
The aim of the event is to launch UNCTAD’s COMPAL Global Programme for the MENA countries at the margin of the Annual Conference of the International Competition Network (ICN) to be held in Marrakesh on 23 April 2014.
The Programme will have the following main components:
1: To enhance MENA countries’ effective capacities to adopt and implement regional competition and consumer protection programmes, through the introduction of national competition/consumer protection policies and legal frameworks, institution building including the establishment of competition/consumer protection agencies, training of enforcers and regional cooperation initiatives.
2: To help companies and business associations comply with competition and consumer protection laws and regulations, through advocacy for voluntary compliance, for integrating the informal sector into the formal economy and for eliminating unfair trade practices, as well as through workshops, and the publication of guidelines on the substantive application of competition and consumer protection laws and regulations and guidelines on leniency programmes.
3: To assist MENA countries in the establishment of an effective dialogue between policymakers for coherence between competition, consumer and other public policies, in the adoption of competition neutrality frameworks, and in the implementation of Regulatory Impact Analyses so to avoid unnecessary burdens to competition.
The expect outcomes of the event will be the following:
- Understanding of the scope of the Programme and its main component by Heads of Competition Agencies of the MENA countries attended the ICN Annual Conference and High-level representatives of the Government of Morocco.
- Support of the MENA countries towards the regional Programme by attendance and participation during the event. The presence of the Secretary General of UNCTAD underlies the importance for UNCTAD to support this regional programme for the MENA countries.
Participants in this event will include:
Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Abdelali Benamour, President, Competition Council of Morocco
Margareta Davidson-Abdelli, Counsellor, Embassy of Sweden in Egypt
Rafael Corazza, Director, Competition Commission Secretariat of Switzerland