ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

13 NOVEMBER 2015

Plan To Improve Competition Law And Policy Enforcement For Brics Countries Moving Forward 

A joint statement was signed by the heads of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) competition authorities on the second day of the 4th BRICS International Competition Conference.

The statement is a declaration by BRICS members on their programme for the next two years, and includes areas of cooperation in the field of competition law and policy enforcement.

The statement acknowledged BRICS countries as emerging markets and developing economies which face similar challenges. It was therefore important to continue in their joint efforts to improve competition law and policy enforcement in order to achieve growth in their economies and the protection of consumers.

It stated that dialogue among BRICS countries in the field of competition policy and enforcement, based on mutual respect and trust, is essential.

The statement agreed to conclude the memorandum of understanding in the field of competition policy in order to strengthen the cooperation and coordination between the BRICS Competition Authorities.

It listed activities under the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was agreed to strengthen cooperation through sharing best practices in respect of laws, rules and policies; joint participation in capacity building initiatives such as conferences and seminars; the conduct of joint studies and coordination in enforcement proceedings. The MOU is expected to be signed in Russia early next year.

The conference, held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre under the theme “Competition and Inclusive Growth” ends today, 12 November 2015. 

The bi-annual event was preceded by two events namely a joint lecture workshop on competition and the 9th annual Conference on Competition Law, Economics and Policy held earlier this week.

During the conference history was made when the South African Competition Commission and the Namibian Competition Commission signed a MOU to solidify their relations and cooperation on competition policy. The MOU between the two SADC nations is the first of its kind in the African competition landscape. 

Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel delivered the keynote address at the opening of the conference on 12 November 2015.

He highlighted the immense role played by competition authorities amongst BRICS countries in economic development. “The Competition Commission promotes employment and advance the social welfare of South Africa,” said Patel. 

He said competition is powerful and energising in human affairs to dig deeper and be innovative by bringing new products and ways of doing things to the market.

He however, cautioned that competition on its own does not address the challenges of society. 

“For competition policy to be truly effective, it should not be isolated from other policy issues. We can’t just focus on competition and competiveness to deal with societal issues. People need low prices, but they need the jobs to access those low priced goods. We should and can learn from other countries, particularly developed countries that grappled with economic competition challenges. Policy needs to change to meet new challenges,” he said.

Other speakers included KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu, MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Michael Mabuyakhulu, EThekwini Municipality Mayor James Nxumalo and South Africa’s Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.

Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said the conference had brought together the biggest and most diverse thought leaders in competition.

He said most of the objectives set out at the beginning of the conference had been achieved and in some instances had exceeded his expectations. 

ENDS 

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za​ or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za 

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