CAIRO - 22 March 2023: The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) launched Wednesday Egypt’s National Strategy for Competition Policy and Competitive Neutrality Conference.
The ECA elaborated that its conference is on “Promoting Competitive Neutrality: Egyptian and International Experience” with the aim to showcase the national strategy to promote competition policy and competitive neutrality.
The conference, which was held under the patronage of the Prime Minister, was attended by the heads of regulatory authorities, representatives of state administrative entities, heads of economic committees in the Parliament, representatives of the business community, and experts from various regional and international institutions.
During the opening speech, Egyptian Competition Authority Chairman Mahmoud Momtaz emphasized that the Egyptian economic policy is founded on the pillars of freedom of competition and ensuring a competitive climate for carrying out all economic activities, as affirmed by Article 27 of the Constitution and according to the Egyptian Competition Law.
To achieve this, the Egyptian Competition Authority’s (ECA) policy is based on two main pillars: The first is law enforcement and combating all forms of anticompetitive practices by different market players; the second is promoting competition policy and ensuring competitive neutrality. This is in order to provide a free competitive climate that renders competition law and policy in Egypt a more effective tool in achieving the goals of economic and sustainable development.
"We have witnessed, during the past years, the enormous support ECA received to enhance its role, from political leadership constantly directing to adhere to the standards of free competition, as well as a government that believes in the importance of adopting competition policy and providing an attractive environment for local and foreign investments. The Egyptian Competition Law has been amended to enhance the effectiveness of the ECA’s mandate, granting it additional independence to enforce the law more effectively,” he stated.
ECA’s strategy 2021-2025 is in line with Egypt’s vision 2030 and the sustainable development goals. Competitive neutrality is also among the basic principles of the State Ownership Policy document.
Regarding the competitive neutrality policy, Momtaz stated that all market players, whether local or foreign private companies, or state-owned companies, should compete on a level playing field. In fact, a number of economic studies have established that the competitive neutrality policy contributes to removing barriers to entry and expansion in markets, achieving legal certainty that incentivized investors to enter the market, creating a competitive climate for small and medium enterprises, and enhancing the effectiveness of the allocation of resources within the Egyptian economy.
He pointed out that the objective of the State Ownership Policy document was to complement the reforms adopted by the Egyptian State to create an attractive economic climate for investments. The conference was an opportunity to discuss the Egyptian State's strategy to promote competitive neutrality, as well as the accomplished milestones. This is in addition to the mutual role in disseminating competitive neutrality between regulators and the private sector. It was also an opportunity to discuss successful international experiences presented by various regional and international institutions and experts in the field.
The Prime Minister had previously approved ECA’s strategy 2021-2025, the second pillar of which being the promotion of competition policy and competitive neutrality. The Egyptian State Ownership Policy document states the implementation of the competitive neutrality strategy within the framework of the principles of the state ownership policy.
This resulted in the establishment of the High Committee for Competition Policy and Competitive Neutrality pursuant to the Prime Minister decree No. 2195 of 2022, chaired by the Prime Minister and consisting of a number of ministers and relevant authorities.
The Committee has taken a number of decisions since its creation, mainly in the healthcare and petrol sectors.
The Committee aims to find solutions and to ensure the effective implementation of its decisions by all relevant authorities in the case of an anti-competitive state measure; to ensure a competitive climate that encourages more local and foreign investments in the Egyptian market.
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