Competition Commission of Pakistan’s International Conference Concluded

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A Group Photograph of the International Panelists of International Conference, the “Role of Competition in Fostering Trade and Investment” organized by the Competition Commission of Pakistan, with the collaboration of the European Union Delegation to Pakistan, in Islamabad. 

ISLAMABAD (PR): The delegates of the International Conference, “the Role of Competition in Fostering Trade and Investment,” organized by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), with the collaboration of the European Union Delegation to Pakistan, conducted a workshop for the CCP’s enforcement team at the CCP’s headquarters on Thursday. 

The workshop also marked the conclusion of the International Conference, which was attended by competition law experts and senior officials of various competition agencies from America, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Kenya, France, Turkey Sri Lanka and Portugal. It was also attended in large number by the Chief Executive Officers of various multinational and local companies in Pakistan, representatives of the business associations, Bar Councils, academia, media and the government.

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On 29 May, the Conference was divided around four technical sessions. The session on “Nexus between Competition Regime and Trade and Investment” was addressed by Professor Richard Janda, Professor of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Professor William Kovacic, Professor, George Washington University, USA, Dr. Joseph Wilson, Member, CCP, Ali Salman, Executive Director, Policy Research Institute of Market Economy, Islamabad
The Session on “Public Procurement: Creating a Level-playing Field” was addressed by Professor William Kovacic, Theodore Voorhees, Partner, Covington & Burling, LLP; President, Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association, USA, Ratnesh Nandan Sahay, Advisor, Competition Commission of India, Dr Gabriele Herlemann, Judge, Public Procurement Tribunal, the German Competition Authority, and Ikram Qureshi, Director General, CCP.
The session on “Detecting Cartels: Investigative Techniques, Leniency and Reward Programs” was addressed by Rahat Kaunain Hassan, Chairperson CCP, Manuel Sebastião, President, Portuguese Competition Authority, John M. Connor, Emeritus Professor, Purdue University, USA, Fernando Furlan, Former Chair, CADE, Brazil, John K. Daina, Senior Economist, Competition Authority of Kenya.

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The Session on “Promoting Competition through Advocacy” was addressed by Timothy T. Hughes, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission, USA, Eduardo Pérez Motta, President, Chair of the ICN Steering Group & President of the Mexican Federal Competition Commission, Hilary Jennings, Head, Global Relations, OECD, France, Kasturi Moodaliyar, Associate Professor, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, Saad Amanullah Khan, CEO, Gillette Pakistan, and Eric Manes, Senior Economist, the World Bank, USA.

On 30 May, a Workshop for CCP’s enforcement staff was divided around three Round Tables. The first roundtable on “Deceptive Marketing Hampering Fair Trade” was addressed by Dr. Shahzad Ansar, Member, CCP, Mr. Hamid Maker, Founder Trustee, Helpline Trust, Karachi, Dr. Huma Bukhari, Chairperson, Consumer Forum, Karachi, and a representative of the Consumer Association of Pakistan. The Round Table discussed marketing practices which hamper fair trade and examined whether such practices could be curbed under Section 10 of the Competition Act.

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The Round Table 2, “Scent of a Cartel!” was addressed by John M. Connor, Emeritus Professor, Purdue University, USA, Dr. Christina Hummer, Partner, SCWP Schindhlem, Brussels & Vienna, John K. Daina, Senior Economist, Competition Authority of Kenya, and Dr M. Fevzi Toksoy, Partner, ACTECON Consulting, Turkey. The round table discussed some of the common symptoms present in a new and a chronic cartel and shared experiences from across participant countries and to draw a list of indicators showing presence of a cartel.

The Round Table 3 “Distorting Competition: Policy Directives and Executive Orders” was addressed by Prof. Richard Janda, Professor of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Mueen Batlay, Member, CCP, Charles Webb, Partner, Baker Botts, USA; Former Executive Director, Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority, and Mr. James Douglas, Director General, Consumer Affairs Authority, Sri Lanka. The Round Table discussed the exemption or reduction in the levy of import and other regulatory duties to some firms thus creating skewed level-playing field and distorting competition among firms placed on same footing.

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The EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Pakistan, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark attended the Conference on 29 May while the Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, Pierre Mayaudon attended the Workshop on 30 May. They appreciated CCP for taking the initiative to organize the International Conference and bring together such high profile competition law experts from around the world. They said the EU always backed such initiatives and would continue the collaboration with CCP.
The CCP Chairperson in her remarks thanked the international participants for their time and said that their presence was the acknowledgement and appreciation of the work being done by CCP for promotion of competition. She also thanked the local participants for attending the conference.

All of the International Panelists acknowledged the efforts of CCP for promotion of competition and an effective enforcement of competition law in Pakistan.