|Author (Person)||Chapman, Peter|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.10, 8.3.01, p8|
TRUST- BUSTER Mario Monti's plans for a new global forum to boost the fight against cartels and anti-competitive mergers could fail unless the world's poorer countries can be persuaded to take part, a top aide to the EU competition chief has warned.
Angelo Cardani, deputy head of Mario Monti's cabinet, said one of the forum's jobs would be to help 'emerging' economies put in place or start to apply effective competition rules in line with best practice elsewhere.
This would help consumers and companies alike in these countries - and also help foreign firms trying to challenge local monopolies.
"This is not something just for developed countries," said Cardani. "That would be silly. It would not be worth doing."
But the economics professor said the new body should not be a forum for the richest countries to talk down to their poorer counterparts.
"If we got together tomorrow and we told developing countries what to do, several classes of potential members would not like it," he said.
Even if they can be persuaded that they should take part, practical problems such as cost of participation at talks both setting up and running the forum would also need to be sorted out, he admitted.
A solution to the first problem might be to hold start-up talks in Geneva in July following a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), already likely to be attended by officials from most developing countries in any event.
"One of the problems is that the competition authorities in some countries would only have enough money for a couple of computers - but not to travel," said the Monti aide, adding that a costly set-up would "kill the initiative" before it had left the drawing board.
Monti has been a strong proponent of boosting international cooperation in the field. He touted the forum plan at the Davos meeting of world leaders and industrialists earlier this year, saying it would link-up competition authorities from across the world and lead to more uniform application of anti-trust rules.
The Italian Commissioner, like his trade counterpart Pascal Lamy, is also keen on a greater role for the World Trade Organisation in competition affairs - even though some countries such as the US are less enthusiastic.
Trust-buster Mario Monti's plans for a new global forum to boost the fight against cartels and anti-competitive mergers could fail unless the world's poorer countries can be persuaded to take part.
|Subject Categories||Internal Markets|