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ESCWA and partners hold first Competition Forum for the Arab region

Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut, 24 January 2020--In a bid to help reducing inequalities and fighting corruption by strengthening competition law and policy across the Arab region, ESCWA, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concluded today their first joint Competition Forum for the region at the UN House in Beirut.
Strong collaboration between ESCWA, UNCTAD and OECD will serve our member States better towards achieving the Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” ESCWA Executive Secretary, Rola Dashti, said in her opening remarks.
“Together, we support national capacity-building, provide technical cooperation and advisory services, and conduct detailed research and analysis to support evidence-based decision-making,” she added.
For her part, Teresa Moreira, Head of the Competition and Consumer Policies Branch in UNCTAD, highlighted the work done in the region and stressed the importance of this cooperation, hoping that it would be an opportunity to build on previous achievements of the three entities.
The Forum addressed matters of competition and development, including employment, economic growth, strengthening institutions, inclusion and gender equality.
“Competition can be very useful for economic development so there’s possibly a lack of economic culture in understanding the link between competition and development,” Chairman of the OECD Competition Committee, Frédéric Jenny, underscored. “In order to have competition, it is useful to have a legal framework, which is a solid base, and a competition authority that can enforce effectively the law,” he added.
Participants discussed how an “entrepreneurial State” can assume the responsibility for sustainable and inclusive public investments by driving not just facilitating innovation in partnership with the private sector. They also tackled institutional arrangements, legal conditions and efficient organizational structures that afford independence, transparency and credibility.
The Forum will be an annual knowledge-sharing platform on competition policy and enforcement for the Arab region, bringing together high-level competition officials, policymakers, regulators, and the broader competition community.


For more information:
- Ms. Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +961-81-769-888; email:
- Ms. Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879; email: