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Development Account Projects

Institutional capacity-building for competition law policy


Globalization has highlighted differences in regulatory regimes in various policy areas, one of which is competition policy. The growing concern about competition policy arises not only from the increasing globalization of the world economy, but also from recent shifts in policy perceptions, including an awareness of the necessity of increased emphasis on market forces as the most effective tool for achieving efficiency and generating wealth, the ultimate goal of which is the improvement of living conditions.


  • To enhance the capacity of developing countries to design appropriate competition laws and to effectively enforce them
  • To strengthen negotiating skills of developing countries, with a view to enhancing their effective participation in the forthcoming multilateral negotiations of WTO
  • To create a network of expertise among institutions of developing countries to promote economic and technical cooperation among them, in support of institutional and capacity-building activities that are sustainable at the national and regional levels

Expected accomplishments:

  • A deeper understanding of the problems and challenges that arise in the formulation and enforcement of competition policy, with a view to reinforcing competition in emerging market economies and enhancing competitiveness of exports in international trade
  • Enhanced ability of Member States to carry out successful anti-trust policy and enforce it
  • Reaching a consensus on regional and multilateral cooperation in the enforcement of competition law and exchange of information and expertise in this area. Such enhanced cooperation would protect developing and small economies from international anti-competitive practices that are detrimental to development.
  • Improved access for Member States to international expertise on the drafting of competition laws and related enforcement guidelines

Effects and Impact:

The project served as a catalyst for mobilizing additional funds from donor institutions and countries due to the broad recognition of impact. The allocation of funds for the Development Account to UNCTAD work on competition was viewed very favorably by many donor countries and as such, encouraged several donors to continue or expand their financial support to UNCTAD work on competition. Furthermore, the project contributed to the enhanced capabilities of national competition authorities of beneficiary countries to formulate and enforce national competition rules for dealing with cartels and abuse of dominance. Activities also helped in enhancing capabilities of negotiators from these countries for effective participation in multilateral negotiations on competition policy in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international fora. The project assisted countries in the establishment of regional competition policy to support integration grouping as well as provide capacity building for Geneva based delegates to effectively participate in multilateral negotiations on competition policy in WTO and other international fora.

The project has led to the development of coherent policy approaches to economic reforms, development and negotiations on the Singapore issues within WTO. The ten beneficiary governments were able to develop national expertise on competition law and policy, which enabled them to review their development strategies in line with their development needs, strengthen regional cooperation and adhere to the WTO disciplines. The project mobilized a substantial number of experts& researchers who prepared sectoral studies to assist policy makers in formulating appropriate competition policy frameworks. The project also allowed governments to identify policy options for deriving advantages from the globalization of the world economy and coping with the challenges of the international trading system. An indirect benefit of the project was the assistance to 3 countries in their negotiation on accession to the WTO (Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos).