Progressivity and Flexibility in Developing an Effective Competition Regime: Using Experiences of Poland, Ukraine, and South Africa for developing countries

The paper discusses the role of the concept of special and differential treatment in the framework of regional trade agreements for the development of a competition regime. After a discussion of the main characteristics and possible shortfalls of those concepts, three case countries are assessed in terms of their experience with progressivity, flexibility, and technical and financial assistance: Poland was led to align its competition laws to match the model of the EU. The Ukraine opted voluntarily for the European model, this despite its intense integration mainly with Russia. South Africa, a developing country that emerged from a highly segregated social fabric and an economy dominated by large conglomerates with concentrated ownership. All three countries enacted (or comprehensively reformed) their competition laws in an attempt to face the challenges of economic integration and catch up development on the one hand and particular social problems on the other. Hence, their experience may be pivotal for a variety of different developing countries who are in negotiations to include competition issues in regional trade agreements. The results suggest that the design of such competition issues have to reflect country-particularities to achieve an efficient competition regime.

21. April 2006

Authors Franz Kronthaler Johannes Stephan

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