Competition law nourishes growth of SMEs

ISLAMABAD: The enforcement of competition law creates a conducive business environment for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow into big businesses and provides equal opportunities and a level playing field to all businesses to compete, innovate and become profitable.

This was stated by the CCP officials during separate seminars at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (SIMAP) Sialkot, and the Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), organised by CCP as part of the “National Road Show on Competition Law.”
The seminars were addressed by CCP Members Shahzad Ansar, Ikramul Haque Qureshi, Mueen Batlay and attended by SCCI President Mansoor Ahmed, Vice President Syed Ahtesham Mazhar, SIMAP Chairman Muhammad Ashraf Raza, GCCI President Sameeullah Naeem, Vice President Abdur Rauf, members of the chambers of commerce and trade associations.
The participants of these seminars brought pertinent issues concerning competition, particularly those faced by the small and medium enterprises, in the notice of CCP and requested the removal of entry barriers in various sectors of the economy to pave way for smooth business. They highlighted the problems caused by the energy shortage, which was creating problems for businesses. CCP officials encouraged the businessmen to file complaints about the competition related issues with CCP and assured to address their problems in the interest of free and healthy competition.
CCP Member Ikramul Haque Qureshi in his presentation said that all the developed economies of the world had implemented the competition laws and were trying to remove all kinds of entry barriers and other anti-competitive practices in all sectors of the economy. He emphasised that discouraging anti-competitive practices are prerequisite for smooth and competitive business environment for local and domestic investors, which results in benefits for not only the businesses but for all the consumers. He urged the businessmen to understand the competition law and seek CCP’s guidance in implementing it.
The businesses were also asked to self-regulate by complying with the competition law in their respective sectors. Qureshi said that all the provisions of the Competition Act, 2010 were pro-business. He briefed the participants about the competition regime in Pakistan and explained the substantive provisions of the Competition Act, 2010. Responding to a question about the CCP’s inquiry into fee raise by private schools, Qureshi said that the Lahore High Court had granted a stay order in the case and therefore, CCP cannot take further action in this regard till the vacation of the stay order by the court.
Shahzad Ansar in his presentation on deceptive marketing practices said that the role of CCP was to protect the consumers and businesses from misleading advertising, false and fraudulent use of another’s trade mark and misleading comparison of goods. Mueen Batlay briefed the participants on the merger thresholds and merger filing with CCP. GCCI President Sameeullah Naeem while addressing the seminar in Gujranwala said that the implementation of the competition law was crucial for a smooth business environment and requested CCP to hold more such advocacy sessions for the businessmen. SIMAP Chairman Muhammad Ashraf Raza said that businesses could not flourish without competition. Therefore, he asked businesses to follow the competition rules and regulations.

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