In 2019, ESCWA, UNCTAD, and the OECD signed a letter of understanding to combine their expertise in order to better support key actors across the Arab region in the development of effective competition frameworks.
In January 2020, the inaugural Competition Forum for the Arab Region took place at the UN House in Beirut, Lebanon. It was a first milestone in the three organizations’ joint undertaking as it established a central platform for knowledge exchange to be hosted annually by ESCWA’s member countries on a rotating basis. The 1st Forum brought together a variety of stakeholders to discuss competition law and policy in the Arab region, showcase practical applications, exchange experiences, identify best practices, and develop recommendations for future projects to guide decision makers and enforcers.
The goal of the 2nd Competition Forum is to build on the momentum of the 1st Forum and to develop a regional multi-stakeholder platform that facilitates the coordination and implementation of competition-related initiatives both at the national and regional level.
As part of the Forum, Arab countries will discuss their latest competition developments, reforms, and measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Competition authorities from different parts of the world will present best practices regarding institutional design, competition law and policy, and effective enforcement. Furthermore, regional and international organizations will present their latest work and introduce their projects that are targeted towards Arab countries. In the final session, all participants will work together to identify best practices and agree on an action plan for the near future.
The two-day event will be followed by the Arab Competition Dialogues, a new format that consists of at least three webinars on distinct competition topics.
With the 2nd Competition Forum and the Arab Competition Dialogues we aspire to make a substantive contribution towards improving economic growth and governance in the Arab region, in line with the Sustainable Developments Goals of the 2030 Agenda.