Country

Overall project value

Proportion carried out by legal entity (%)

No of staff provided

Name of client

Origin of funding

Dates (start/end)

CSME Member States

EUR 79,200

100

1

CARICOM Secretariat/ CSME Unit

EDF

06/2009 – 12/2009

Detailed description of project

Type of services provided

The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which espouses the aim to create a Single Market and Economy, provides for five essential freedoms for CARICOM nationals to participate in its market system. These five freedoms are free movement of goods, services, capital, skills and the right to establish enterprises anywhere in the market area (the internal market). One of the keys to the healthy development of the internal market is how monopolies fit into and are accommodated in the mosaic of market structures. Oin this respect, the Revised Treaty calls for a harmonised laws and administrative practices related to competition policy (Art. 74) and sets out a regional competition policy (Chapter 8) which also foresees the creation of a regional Competition Commission (which was established in 2008). On the other hand the CSME provides for monopolies to be retained in the interest of the public. In essence, the CSME seeks to ensure competition in the internal market despite the continuing presence of national monopolies in certain sectors.

The objective of this project is to provide CARICOM with policy prescriptions for an internally consistent regime for treating with monopolies, including an enumeration of the menu of instruments for regulating monopolies, and, the related disciplines which must be observed by States which establish and maintain monopolies.

In order to do this, our analysis includes the following issues:

  • Evaluation of the extent of monopolistic activity in the CSME and any consequences for the flow of trade, particularly imports, restrictions on the right of establishment, restriction on free movement of community nationals, and the potential restriction on competition including, those emerging from mergers/takeovers;
  • Discussion of the appropriateness of the instruments employed by States to create and maintain monopolies in the context of the internal market;
  • Analysis of state policies relating to monopolies and to resolving the potential and actual conflicts within the concept of a single market;
  • Articulation, in light of Article 31, and the GATS, GATT, and EPA legal texts, of the right of establishment, the right to provide services, access of CARICOM national to markets across state borders;
  • Feasibility assessment of improvements with respect to the policy framework for monopolies in the internal market; the most effective instruments for accommodating their establishment and operation; disciplines which might be observed by Members States and by monopoly enterprises, that will improve market efficiency and protection of consumers.
Study on treatment of monopolies in the CSME based on:
  • Desk research (Revised Treaty, WTO, EPA; policy statements, available economic studies);
  • Questionnaire based data collection from CSME Members;
  • Field visits and consultations of all CSME Member States.
  • Presentation of findings to meeting of Member State officials.