Essays in Honour of A.P. Thirlwall
Edited by Philip Arestis, John S.L. McCombie and Roger Vickerman
Chapter 12: Competition and Competition Policy in Emerging Markets: International and Developmental Dimensions
* Ajit Singh† 1. Introduction – Competition Policy and Developing Countries: The International Context Developing countries are today faced with a range of new issues related to the microeconomic behaviour of economic agents – individuals, households and corporations – in these societies. In the past, such behaviour, and a country’s institutional arrangements which supported it, has been the prerogative of sovereign nation states. However, with liberalisation and globalisation these matters are today regarded as legitimate objects of attention by the international community. Hence, under the new International Financial Architecture which is being constructed following the Asian crisis, emerging countries are being asked to reform their systems of corporate governance, labour laws, competition policy and other similar institutional structures. With respect to competition policy, which is the subject of this chapter, it is suggested by many policy makers that not only do developing countries require a competition policy, but a multilateral one would be greatly to their advantage. The main purpose of this chapter is to brief developing countries on the complexities of this issue as well as its important policy implications for economic development. The chapter will examine the virtues and limitations of both national and international competition policies. Contrary to the wishes of developing countries, the so-called “Singapore issues” were included in the WTO’s November 2001 Doha Declaration of Ministers: these are investment, competition policy, trade facilitation and government procurement.1 Competition policy was put on the agenda at the Singapore Ministerial meeting in 1996 as part of a review of the relationship between...
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