EU en­voy urges Pak­istan to en­force com­pe­ti­tion laws

Enterprise - - NATIONAL NEWS -

The EU ambassador in Pak­istan, Lars-Gun­nar Wige­mark, speak­ing at an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence on the ‘Role of Com­pe­ti­tion in fos­ter­ing trade and in­vest­ment’ sug­gested that the new govern­ment should en­hance trade and busi­ness with In­dia and im­ple­ment com­pe­ti­tion laws to im­prove eco­nomic con­di­tions in the coun­try. Mr. Wige­mark said he hoped the govern­ment would be in­spired by the re­cent elec­tions and cre­ate a truly level eco­nomic play­ing field for busi­ness in Pak­istan, and also that it needs to en­force the ex­ist­ing com­pe­ti­tion laws in the coun­try.

Mr. Wige­mark urged that im­proved com­pe­ti­tion will be a win-win gov­er­nance is­sue, which will ben­e­fit Pak­istan and all its con­sumers. He said Pak­istan has a strong po­lit­i­cal man­date which should be used to get rid of car­tels, price­fix­ing, dis­tort­ing sub­si­dies and kick-backs as th­ese are hin­der­ing both do­mes­tic eco­nomic growth and the in­flow of for­eign in­vest­ment and trade.

Mr. Wige­mark said that com­pe­ti­tion will also at­tract in­vest­ment in in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies and foster growth and de­vel­op­ment, He added that while EU is Pak­istan’s largest trad­ing part­ner, at 8.2 bil­lion eu­ros, but the coun­try’s largest trad­ing part­ners should be its neigh­bors, in par­tic­u­lar In­dia. In fact he said, to re­alise the po­ten­tial for trade and in­vest­ment in the re­gion, a strong com­pe­ti­tion sys­tem is es­sen­tial.

The con­fer­ence was at­tended by ex­perts from In­dia, Canada, USA, Europe and other re­gions.

Chair­per­son CCP Ra­hat Kon­ain, wel­comed the par­tic­i­pants and said their pres­ence in the coun­try showed their con­fi­dence and the ef­forts of CCP. She said that com­pe­ti­tion in econ­omy was es­sen­tial to im­prove ef­fi­cien­cies and fairplay.

Among the cases taken up by the CCP against busi­ness gi­ants in­clude es­tab­lish­ment of In­ter­na­tional Clear­ing House (ICH) in the Tele­com In­dus­try, which has been held in vi­o­la­tion of the Com­pe­ti­tion Act. The var­i­ous top­ics dis­cussed at the con­fer­ence in­cluded De­tect­ing Car­tels, pro­mot­ing ad­vo­cacy, nexus with the com­pe­ti­tion regime and ‘Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment’.

Dr Gabriele Her­le­mann, a Judge at the pub­lic pro­cure­ment tri­bunal, Ger­man Com­pe­ti­tion Au­thor­ity, also ad­dressed the event. He said that in Ger­many, three im­por­tant points of pub­lic pro­cure­ment were trans­parency, non-dis­crim­i­na­tion and com­pe­ti­tion, as the key prin­ci­ples for the award pro­ce­dure.

Mean­while, speak­ers from Pak­istan high­lighted var­i­ous forms of bid­ding in the pub­lic pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures. They de­manded that the govern­ment should re­vamp the en­tire pro­ce­dure to en­sure trans­parency in pub­lic pro­cure­ments. Some of the speak­ers even crit­i­cized the courts for ac­cept­ing all the ap­peals filed by the ac­cused, fol­low­ing which the cases con­tinue to linger for years with­out any out­come.

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