Symposium on Trade in
Primary Products and Competition Policy
September 22, 2011 (Thursday) Geneva, Switzerland
To enhance understanding
about the existing challenges in the functioning of primary product
markets so as to evolve a comprehensive economic governance regime to
address anti-competitive behaviour and other related concerns.
Primary product markets are
complex in their structure and susceptible to a variety of factors that
are seen to cause volatilities in their prices. Not much has been
understood about the factors determining such fluctuations as well as
anti-competitive practices prevalent in such markets that ultimately
raise the costs and adversely affect national economic development.
A sound theoretical
understanding of the market structure and the distortions therein is
critical in understanding market dysfunctions and governance challenges
in the primary product markets. This is an imperative along with the
objective of designing a sound domestic competition policy framework so
as to successfully target such market imperfections. Such policy options
should be looked at how they complement the relevant WTO agreements.
The following issues were
covered in different thematic sessions:
Understanding how primary
(agricultural and mineral) product markets work
and market structures in primary product markets
Governance of primary
product markets and its impact on developing countries
Systemic issues and policy
options for the future
Against this background, on
Thursday, the 22nd of September 2011, CUTS International
organized a Symposium on Trade in Primary Product Markets and
Competition Policy in Room CR of Centre William Rappard, WTO, Geneva. The
event, being organized by CUTS International with the generous support
of European Commission (EC), Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
and Agence Francaise Developpment (AFD), followed the annual WTO
Public Symposium (to be held in Geneva on 19-21, September 2011).
The Symposium witnessed a
high-level participation of experts in trade and competition issues from
different parts of the world representing multilateral institutions,
governments, academic community and civil society. There were over 20
experts participating as speakers and discussants. The event and its
outputs were targeted at the global trade and competition community,
including the Geneva-based trade and development community.
The papers presented at the
event will be published in the form of an E-book by CEPR, while the
proceedings will be published by CUTS.