Equitable trade deals require competition rules, and developing countries stand to gain from such rules. This is the main message of a new analysis of competition rules in regional trade agreements published by UNCTAD. The book, entitled Competition Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements: How to Assure Development Gains and prepared with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, draws on the expertise of the UNCTAD secretariat, lead practitioners and scholars around the world.
Although many competition rules are new, the analysis shows that they can:
- fight international hardcore cartels and other anticompetitive practices that retard development;
- strengthen competition agencies in developing countries; and
- promote consumer protection.
The book provides the first comprehensive evaluation of the potential for competition rules to ensure that the benefits of globalization are shared more equitably. For example, the poor gain from lower-priced goods and better quality. Meanwhile, developing countries´ exporters seek new markets abroad. But both of these goals can be frustrated by anticompetitive corporate practices.
Written in non-technical language and style, this book analyses regional trends and presents detailed case studies. An invaluable tool for policymakers, trade and competition experts and other key stakeholders, the book is essential reading for all those interested in international competition issues and developing countries.
The book was launched yesterday in Antalya, Turkey, at the Fifth UN Conference on Competition Policy.