Research Partnership Platform on Competition and Consumer Protection

UNCTAD is the focal point within the United Nations system for competition law and policy, and consumer protection issues, with special focus on the needs of developing countries and economies in transition in this area.

Considering the important role of research and policy analysis in the development of appropriate policies and legislation responding to the challenges faced in the area of competition and consumer protection, UNCTAD created the Research Partnership Platform (RPP) in 2010. UNCTAD RPP is an initiative that aims at contributing to the development of best practices in the formulation and effective enforcement of competition and consumer protection laws and policies so as to promote development.

The RPP brings together research institutions, universities, competition authorities, business and civil society. It provides a platform where they can undertake joint research and other activities with UNCTAD; disseminate the results of their own work; and exchange ideas on the issues and challenges in the area of competition and consumer protection, particularly those faced by developing countries and economies in transition.

The role of UNCTAD is to facilitate and provide guidance on the research and analysis, as well as other activities, to be undertaken by members of the RPP. UNCTAD will benefit from the research findings when responding to the challenges faced by developing countries through its technical assistance and capacity building activities.

Currently, UNCTAD Research Partnership Platform hosts over sixty-five institutions consisting of research institutes, universities, non-governmental organizations, corporate affiliates and competition agencies.



The RPP will provide competition authorities, government, researchers on competition and consumer policies, business and civil society with access to several of the most effective tools for effective enforcement of competition law and policy and deeper understanding of the role of competition policy in promoting growth and development.

The RPP will also provide its partners with communications concerning on-going research, and opportunities to participate in meetings, conferences and seminars on competition and consumer policies.

The RPP is an initiative that aims to advance state-of-the art formulation and enforcement of competition and consumer protection laws and policies for better development, and to offer a flexible, consultative environment for solving the most challenging problems on competition and consumer protection laws and policies, particularly in developing countries and economies in transition.

As a resource provider, the RPP will work with partners to harness the full range of information and best practices in relation to the formulation and enforcement of competition and consumer protection policies in order to enable more effective enforcement of such laws and policies worldwide.


UNCTAD supports member countries through its three pillars: research and policy analysis; technical assistance for capacity building; and consensus building among member States.

The RPP aims to strengthen the impact of UNCTAD's work in the first two pillars, by deepening the substantive edge of its research and policy analysis, and enhancing the value-added of its technical assistance activities, especially in developing countries and economies in transition. UNCTAD hopes that the RPP will contribute to building an international platform for discussions and exchange of information and ideas on competition and consumer protection issues.

The cooperation between UNCTAD and its research partners under the RPP is expected to result in the following activities:

  • Joint publications (research papers, policy briefs and research-based analytic notes) on competition law and policy, consumer protection and related issues such as competitiveness.

  • Joint organization of conferences/seminars, gathering stakeholders from governments, academia, non-governmental and international organizations, which will aim to stimulate discussions, inter alia, on methods to enhance the formulation and effective implementation of competition and consumer protection laws and policies, and to promote inclusive and sustainable development through the medium of competition, while taking into consideration the interfaces between competition and other topics, such as trade, investment, technology, innovation and intellectual property rights.

  • Joint organization of training courses and workshops in developing countries where UNCTAD conducts capacity building projects. Joint design of training modules and pedagogical materials on specific topics related to competition and consumer protection.

  • Dissemination of research papers and publications produced by UNCTAD and its research partners.



Activities that constitute on-going activities for either UNCTAD or the research partner will be funded in parallel by the partner concerned, based on existing available resources.

For new activities, for which no funds are available, the RPP will assist the research partner to approach appropriate donors for funding.

With respect to UNCTAD's capacity-building and technical assistance activities, such activities are usually funded on an ad-hoc basis from trust funds, based on requests formulated by member States and submitted to UNCTAD.