Trade Minister Calls For National Competition Policy., September 26, 2014

Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Acting Minister for Trade and Industry, has called for the introduction of a national competition policy aimed at regulating trade in the country.

He said the introduction of a functional competition regime or policy would help bring about a competition law to help streamline competition, contribute towards increased efficiency, and reduce or eliminate other negative practices on the market.

This was contained in a message read on his behalf during the launch of Ghana’s Competition Policy Project (COMPAD) in Accra Thursday.

COMPAD is a project initiated by the Ghana branch of the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) CUTS Ghana, a trade and development think tank, which was aimed at advocating for a functional competition regime for Ghana with the support of the BUSAC Fund.

COMPAD would ensure that anti-competitive practices such as cartels, abusive market monopolies, predatory pricing, collusive tendering, exclusive market sharing agreements, bid rigging could be regulated.

The main goal of the project was to complement Government’s efforts in evolving a full-fledged national competition policy, through an informed process, incorporating the views of key actors and with public support.

Dr Mustapha Ahmed noted that effective competition regime would not only benefit consumers, but would also help firms to find markets and retain their customers.

Certainly, a well-informed competition regime will reduces uncertainty for businesses, and is also an important element of promoting private sector development”, he said.

He intimated that in a competitive environment, firms are pushed to be innovative and find better and more efficient ways to produce and distribute goods and services.

The Acting Minister said businesses and consumers tend to benefit from a well-informed competition law through the regulation of prices of goods and other found business policies.

He said empirical evidence had shown that countries which implement effective completion regime help to promote the private sector, reduce poverty and help in the total development of the nation.

Mr Joe Tackie, Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Development Unit, Office of the President, said CUTS Ghana would work closely with senior policy makers, Parliamentarians and business leaders to deepen their understanding on the introduction of benefits of a functional competition regime.

He said many countries were struggling to design and implement a sound competition policy due to the lack of an informed civil society network that is conversant and knowledgeable in matters of competition.

Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako, Coordinator, CUTS Ghana, said the COMPAD Project would involve field research to identify cases and concerns arising from anti-competitive behaviour in key sectors, discussions with policymakers and business associations, stakeholders awareness, and the involvement of key Government stakeholders and media outreach programmes for Ghanaians on the need for competition regime.

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