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Comesa calls for fair trade

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By Wezzie Gausi:

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission (CCC) has called for enforcement of laws that advocate fair trade within regional markets.

The call was made on Monday in Lilongwe during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the commission and the Competition Commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Comco).

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CCC acting Director Willard Mwemba said the MoU was a cooperation framework for the two institutions on enforcement of competition and consumer protection laws.

He said the importance of cooperation in the realm of competition and consumer law enforcement cannot be overstated.

“This is particularly relevant in the current economic context where increasing efforts are being made towards trade liberalisation and integration of markets across the globe, including within the Comesa region,” Mwemba said.

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He said co-operation is key.

Director of Trade in the Ministry of Trade Clement Kumbemba said they were happy that the signing ceremony was held in the country as Malawi was the first to enter into enforcement MoU with the CCC in 2015.

He said it was imperative that competition authorities should be innovative to remain afloat to detect anti-competitive conduct and prosecute offending businesses.

“Therefore, cooperation between competition authorities is a greater leap in the right direction,” Kumbambe said.

Interim Coordinator of Comco Trudon Kalala Nzembela said he was glad that they have finally signed the agreement.

He said the MoU has provided for the sharing of information, collaborations on merger assessments, consultations on enforcement activities which could affect each authority’s important interests and assistance for capacity building and training.

“Therefore, a platform to collaborate with other competition authorities in the region and beyond gives the best opportunity to learn international best practices for the furtherance of enforcement efforts at national level,” Nzembela said.

The CCC has already signed eight MoUs with other national competition authorities in the common market.

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