The third phase of UNCTAD's technical assistance programme on competition and consumer protection policies for Latin America (COMPAL III), funded by SECO Switzerland, was launched at the GLOBAL COMPAL Annual Conference in Lima, Peru on 6 March.
The new regional programme was launched by the Director of the International Trade Division of UNCTAD, Guillermo Valles, together with the Head of the Competition and Consumer Protection Authority of Peru (INDECOPI), Dr. Hebert Tassano, and the Swiss Ambassador of Peru, H.E. Hans-Ruedi Bortis.
Participants included Competition and Consumer Protection agencies from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. SECO representatives coming from Bern and the local office in Lima also took part in the Conference.
The COMPAL programme has been replicated from Latin America to the Mena region, under the name of COMPAL MENA. This has made possible the participation in this event of members coming from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
A regional work plan was discussed and will be endorsed by all members by the end of March 2015.
The main objective of COMPAL III is to establish a self-sustained programme that will function beyond 2018, when SECO's support to it will be concluded.
For this purpose, COMPAL III will focus on two strategies of intervention namely the consolidation of the acquired capacities and deepening of regional cooperation and support and compliance with competition and consumer protection rules by the private sector. Two features of the programme favour its sustainability:
Shared management-structures between UNCTAD and the beneficiary countries.
Focus on strengthening human capacities and creating a regional network for exchange and peer-learning.
These factors ensure the close involvement and engagement of the partner countries.
Colombia and Peru will assume an important leadership role in order to reinforce the regional COMPAL structure.