UNCTAD experts meeting puts spotlight on competition law and policy

30 July 2014

​Intergovernmental Group of Experts meeting hears about the importance of international cooperation in the functioning of effective competition laws and policies.

The fourteenth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Competition Law and Policy was held 8-10 July, with the participation of experts from 83 countries, 11 intergovernmental organizations and 21 non-governmental organizations, as well as representatives from the International Trade Centre (ITC), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"UNCTAD has a long history of working with developing countries in tackling restrictive business practices," UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, told the opening session "We believe that without effective implementation, competition policies and laws do not necessarily lead to a more competitive market structure. Looking ahead, considerable challenges remain in promoting a fair, open and competitive environment that is necessary to developing and maintaining dynamic and innovative economies."

In his message, Dr. Kituyi also highlighted the importance of international cooperation for competition law and policy to be effective.

Participants in the IGE discussed the benefits of competition policy for consumers and underlined the complementary nature of competition and consumer policies. They addressed main challenges of and possibilities for informal cooperation among competition authorities in specific cases.

Participants also drew attention to how communication strategies can improve the effectiveness of competition agencies, and heard examples from several jurisdictions. The experts reviewed the capacity-building efforts undertaken by UNCTAD in the area of competition law and policy and exchanged ideas on how to strengthen these efforts.

In addition, this session of IGE undertook the peer review of competition law and policy of Namibia, the Seychelles and the Philippines. UNCTAD presented its proposals for technical assistance to implement the peer review recommendations for each of these countries.