For nearly four decades, UNCTAD has been dealing with the issue of anti-competitive or restrictive business practices. As evidenced by the rapidly growing number of countries involved in the preparation, adoption and implementation of competition laws and policies, there is growing awareness among developing countries, including the least developed countries (LDCs), of their special needs in this area. This publication thus focuses on the policy options available to these countries and on the role of competition policy in the overall design of a coherent development strategy.
The volume highlights the prerequisites for successful implementation of a development-oriented competition policy. It also elucidates the mechanisms through which competition policy can contribute to improved economic performance by fostering enterprise development, investment, productivity and export performance. The key arguments of the book build on specific lessons from developing countries on the adoption and implementation of competition laws and policies. The selection of countries for case studies was motivated by an interest in shedding light on the experience of a wide range of developing economies, including such relatively advanced developing countries as South Korea, Brazil, Peru, Thailand and South Africa, and such small least developed country economies as Nepal, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
The fundamental message to be derived from the empirical findings and policy experiences presented in the publication is that merely adopting a competition law is no panacea. As the contributors show in their analyses, significant efforts are needed to ensure that competition policies are implemented well and have the desired developmental effects.
The book makes a series of recommendations for policy changes and institutional reforms needed to promote domestic competition, international competitiveness and development. This publication, which is being launched on the occasion of UNCTAD XI, should enhance the expertise and awareness of public policy officials, private sector stakeholders, consumer organizations and civil society in general about the crucial importance of competition law and policy for creating competitive enterprises in developing countries.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the International Development Research
Centre (IDRC) for its invaluable support in carrying out this research project.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD