CTC to host Comesa competition policy workshop

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THE Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) is set to host a national sensitisation workshop on Comesa competition policy and law to raise awareness of the existence of regional and national competition laws.

BY TARISAI MANDIZHA

The workshop is set for May 16, 2017 in Harare. It is being hosted against the background that over 50 transactions involving cross-border mergers notified with the commission have involved the Zimbabwean market.

The transactions include, among others, Atlas Mara Limited and Finance Bank of Zambia Limited, in the banking and financial services sector. Atlas Mara has a controlling shareholding in ABC Holdings which has banking units in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania under the BancABC brand.

“The main objective of the national workshop is to raise awareness among the key stakeholders and business community in Zimbabwe with regards to the provisions and implementation of Comesa competition law,” CTC said in a statement.

According to the statement, in December 2004, the Comesa Council of ministers invoked Article 55(3) of Comesa Treaty provisions and formulated and adopted the Comesa Competition Regulations for the region after realisation that enforcement of the competition and consumer protection policies in the common market can facilitate the achievement of the regional economic integration.

The council also established the Comesa Competition Commission, a statutory body charged with the enforcement of the regional competition regulations.

“The commission commenced its operations on January 14, 2013 and introduced a One-Stop-Shop” for cross-border competition-related transactions, thereby easing the cost of doing business in the Comesa region, given that such transactions no longer need to be examined in two or more jurisdictions,” CTC said.

The commencement of the enforcement of the regulations, according to CTC, means there are now two separate legal regimes governing the enforcement of competition law and policy in the Comesa member states namely, the National Competition Laws and the Regional Legal Framework.

CTC is a statutory body established under the Competition Act [Chapter 14:28]. The present Commission is a product of the merger in 2001 of the former Industry and Trade Competition Commission and Tariff Commission.