ISLAMABAD - The UNCTAD on Friday announced that it will undertake a peer review of Pakistan’s competition law and policy in which it will assess the substantive provisions of the country’s competition laws and policies using the UNCTAD model law as a reference for best international standards.

As a major initiative to bring Pakistan at par with the global competition agencies, the Chairperson of the Competition Commission of Pakistan, Ms Rahat Kaunain Hassan, requested UNCTAD to undertake a peer review of Pakistan’s competition law and policy. “The time is appropriate in which the quality and efficiency of our laws, regulations, processes and the Commission itself are examined and assessed vis-à-vis those of our peers”, wrote the Chairperson in her letter of request to UNCTAD.

Accepting CCP’s request, the UNCTAD today announced that the peer review report will be funded from the UN Development Account and will be conducted by Dr William Kovacic, competition law professor at George Washington University and former general counsel of the US Federal Trade Commission, in cooperation with two other peer reviewers to be agreed in consultations with the Competition Commission of Pakistan.

The Commission has accomplished much in terms of enforcement and advocacy in the past five years. The peer review process would help the Pakistan Government and the Commission to see how they can improve policy making, adopt best practices in terms of enforcement and ensure compliance with established standards and principles.

The peer review report will be presented to the UNCTAD Intergovernmental Group of Experts on competition policy (IGE) in Geneva in July 2013 in the presence of some 120 jurisdictions.

The peer review includes a follow-on UNCTAD capacity building programme to assist the Commission to implement the recommendations and build human and institutional capacity and report on a regular basis to the IGE.

The UNCTAD Voluntary Peer Review of Competition Law and Policy provides a unique opportunity to review the substantive content of national competition laws and their implementation, and to assess the impact of decisions.

The Voluntary Peer Review is interactive. It combines the exchange of experiences with recommendations for possible improvements either in the formulation of the competition law or in its enforcement.

The reviews are impartial and rigorous, and are undertaken by competition policy experts from both developed and developing countries who have practical experience in implementing competition law.

UNCTAD´s unique development perspective and experience working with competition authorities in developing countries guarantee that the Voluntary Peer Review process is development focused.