Fringe meeting of the International Network of Civil Society Organisations on Competition (INCSOC)

organised by Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) in collaboration with Consumers

Association, UK on the 11th of September 2003, Cancun

Session Title: Role of civil society in promoting a healthy competition culture

Session Date & Time: Sept. 11th ’03, 14:00- 18:00 Hrs

Session Venue: Room 3,
NGO Centre,
Hotel Sierra,
Av. Kukulcan Km. 10,
Zona Hotelera,
Tel: +52 (9988) 83 24 44


INCSOC has been floated by several civil society organisations as a coalition to promote a healthy competition culture in the world. The concept came out of the extensive work on competition policy issues by Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), which conceived of the idea as a result of a project on comparison of competition regimes in developing countries (popularly called the 7-Up Project).

The project revealed a crying need for building a network of stakeholders, especially civil society, so that the competition regimes at the national level could be strengthened, and developed where absent. Moreover, as businesses and their anti-competitive practices have become global in nature, the need for consumer-oriented competition advocacy at the global level cannot be understated.

To complement such initiatives and enhance peoples’ participation, it is essential to establish a similar network at the civil society level, whose voice on the global stage is not as strong as is desirable. Thus, the network named as, “International Network of Civil Society Organisations on Competition” (INCSOC) came into being.

The network intends to put civil society on the map of competition policy discussions at the international and domestic arena. One of the first major projects will be to prepare a World Competition Report by 2005. The proposed fringe meeting of the network is in collaboration with the Consumers Association UK. The joint objective of the meeting is as follows:

  • To build coalitions of civil society organisations interested in promoting a healthy competition culture
  • To build capacity of the civil society organisations on competition policy issues
  • To liaise with all relevant institutions for sharing of experiences and promoting mutual learning on competition issues

Tentative Agenda (* with invited speakers)
Inaugural address: 14.00 – 14.20
Introduction by INCSOC Co-chair: Pradeep S Mehta
Keynote addresses: 14.20 – 16.30 Hrs

  • Why should civil society be interested in competition issues?
    *Kwame Owino, IEA, Kenya
  • Role of civil society organisations in promoting a healthy competition culture
    Phil Evans, Consumers Association, UK
  • The challenges of developing a culture of competition in small economies
    Taimoon Stewart, University of West Indies
  • Dr Philip Marsden, The British Institute of International and Comparative law

Floor discussions

Tea/Coffee Break (16:30 – 16:45 Hrs)

Roundtable Discussion (16:45– 17:45 Hrs)

Multilateral Framework on Competition Policy: Issues at stake for consumers
Chair: Pradeep S Mehta, CUTS, India

Conclusion (17:45 – 18:00 Hrs)

Summary of the discussion

Vote of Thanks by Consumers Association representative: Phil Evans