For equitable economic growth, protect competition not competitors, says Geeta Gouri, former Member Competition Commission of India!!!

November 10, 2017

Jaipur city today witnessed day 2 of highly charged discussions among stellar international and national experts on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)and Competition. IPR and Competition have assumed significant importance in the context of equitable growth globally and in India due to the fact that while the former grants edge to businesses, the latter seeks to protect consumers from abuse of dominance by market actors.

The discussions are being facilitated by Jaipur based global think and action tank, CUTS International in collaboration with CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition through its flagship Biennial Conference on Competition which is running its 5th edition this year. For the current addition OECD has also joined as a collaborator.

While the discussions on day 1 manly focussed on the role of innovation for sustainable development and touched upon dynamics of power game which relate to conflict between mercantilism and equity, the discussion on day two took place in response to four extraordinary research papers on global lessons and experiences presented by Professor Thomas Cheng from Hong Kong, Prof Uros Cemalovic from John Naisbitt University, Avinash Sharma, Panel Counsel of Competition Commission of India and Itumeleng Lesofe from Competition Commission of South Africa. International responses to the papers came from experts from Colarado, John Marshall Laws school, Compass Lexicon, University of Liverpool, Competition Commission of Mauritius and Atiur Rahman, Former Central Bank Governor of Bangladesh while Indian experts included Professor Shamnad Basheer, Nirma Univeristy and Geeta Gouri, Former member Competition Commission of India.

The discussion clearly articulated the need for innovation for countries like India since innovation facilitates growth. However, when looking at IP protection a more focussed and sectoral view should be taken as IP could be priority for sectors like Pharma but perhaps not some others. Professor Shamnad Basheer stressed upon the fact IP regime should be looked at carefully to correct for problems from within rather than relying on Competition framework to promote innovation.

Reacting to the discussion Geeta Gouri stated that we need to protect the competition frame work rather than competitors. She also referred to the ongoing turf war between Telecom Regulator Authority of India and Competition Commission of India as an example that vitiates the regulatory environment.

The discussions will continue tomorrow as well. Day 1 witnessed the participation of Eduardo Perez Motta, Former President, Federal Competition Commission, Mexico; Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary General, UNCTAD and Former Deputy Prime Minister, Belgium; and Nitin Desai, Former Under Secretary General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations and was moderated by Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International.

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For more details, please contact:
Udai S. Mehta,