ISLAMABAD : The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has won the World Bank’s 2013 Competition Advocacy Contest in the category of “Successfully promoting pro-competition market reforms, opening of markets, and infusion of competition principles in other sectoral policies.” CCP has won the contest for conducting advocacy to increase competition in the crucial segment of Pakistan’s air transportation market - the route between Pakistan and Mecca and its recommendations were implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority, resulting in two new airlines entering the market and a decrease in the cost of air travel for consumers.

CCP had raised its concerns by issuing a Policy Note to the Government of Pakistan in 2010 recommending that the bilateral Air Services Agreement of 1972 between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia be amended to address competition concerns. The Policy Note had also recommended to the Government that the agreement be amended to allow multiple airlines of both countries to operate direct scheduled services and hajj services between the two countries; abolish any market division, quotas and payment of royalties; and allow market forces to determine ticket prices without interference from either country’s aviation authority or airlines.

The World Bank said that the aim of this contest was to showcase the role of competition agencies in promoting competition. “We are pleased to share many successful advocacy stories from competition authorities in developing and emerging markets. The winners will present their stories at the headquarters of the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., and the stories will be featured in a World Bank Group publication,” stated the WB.