Malawi’s Competition and Fair Trading Commission is the first competition authority of a COMESA member state to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with regional watchdog, the COMESA Competition Commission (CCC).
The MOU aims to increase cooperation between the national and regional authority. Any instrument promoting consistency in the enforcement of competition policy is to be welcomed. Although the CCC has primary jurisdiction over competition matters with a regional dimension, the CCC Rules provide for cooperation with local authorities and where a matter has a particular impact in a COMESA Sate, the local authority can apply to spearhead the investigation.
Some of the anticipated benefits include:
- the sharing of information in relation to competition matters;
- increased advocacy of the benefits of competition law and policy;
- joint training opportunities, which will enable the transfer of skills; and
- the opportunity to pool resources to enhance the effectiveness of investigations and enforcement.
Malawi is currently the seat of the CCC and so it is fitting that the local regulator and regional body be aligned. It is understood that similar MOU’s between national competition authorities of other COMESA member states and the CCC are on the horizon.