UNCTAD Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on Competition Policy

Ad Hoc Expert Meeting: The role of competition law and policy in fostering sustainable development and trade through the enhancement of domestic and international competitiveness of developing countries

7 July 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Concept note

Competition refers to rivalry among firms in the marketplace. It also extends to envisaged or potential rivalry. Competition policy refers to government policy aimed at preserving or promoting competition among market players and at promoting other government policies and processes that enable a competitive environment to develop. In 1980, the United Nations Conference on Restrictive Business Practices approved the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (the so called "UN Set on Competition Policy"), a multilateral agreement providing a set of equitable rules for the control of anti-competitive practices, which recognizes the development dimension of competition law and policy and provides a framework for international cooperation and exchange of best practices. As acknowledged by the Accra Accord (paragraph 104), UNCTAD is the focal point for work on competition policy and related consumer protection policy within the United Nations system. In this capacity, UNCTAD seeks to promote the use of competition law and policy as tools for achieving competitiveness, growth and development, by providing a forum to member States for intergovernmental policy dialogue and consensus-building in the area of competition (and consumer protection laws and policies), with close linkages to existing networks of competition authorities. In this context, UNCTAD is organizing this Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on Monday July 7 2014, preceding the 14th Session of the IGE on Competition Law and Policy.

Aware of the fact that sustainable long term growth and development depend on efforts carried out in many different fields and on the interface between different public policies such as competition, trade, Intellectual Property (IP) and good governance policies, UNCTAD has invited officials from OECD, WIPO and WTO to discuss issues including innovation, competitive neutrality and good governance policies (Part I of the Meeting), and trade liberalization, global value chains, IP rights and international cooperation in enforcing competition law (Part II of the Meeting).

Dr. Kusha Haraksingh, Chairman and Commissioner of the CARICOM Competition Commission, is participating in this meeting at the invitation of UNCTAD.