Linking foreign investments to competitiveness of an economy, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot on Thursday said that more competitive markets are relatively resilient to adverse economic conditions.
"Decisions of foreign investments are taken on the basis of how investments are protected and how competitive markets are", Pilot said, while adding that gains from liberalisation can be fully realised with greater competitiveness.
In his keynote address at the BRICS International Competition Conference being organised in New Delhi, Pilot said calibrated regulation protects consumer interests and that the relationship between trade and investment policies and competition policies are complementary.
On the same occasion, Indian fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India Chairman Ashok Chawla said that the conference would act as a catalyst to take forward cooperation among BRICS nations.
The ongoing summit would discuss various issues and challenges in competition enforcement in BRICS countries and take the agenda of cooperation among the BRICS competition authorities forward from the earlier two conferences.
Besides, Competition Commission of India will sign a memorandum of understanding with European Union on competition issues.
A Delhi Accord shall be signed with BRICS competition authorities on the second day of the conference on Friday.
The two-day conference was inaugurated this morning by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who called for greater cooperation among the five BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
The conference is organised biennially by one of the BRICS competition authorities, and the first such conference was held in Russia in September 2009.
The second BRICS ICC was organised in China in September 2011.
Highlighting the benefits that flow from a competitive market system, Pilot said that competition encourages affordable products and services, serves as an invisible check on quality, and lead to innovation.
He also pointed out the risks that unfettered market mechanisms carry and said that ‘calibrated regulation protects consumer interest and can become an engine of economic growth, which is so very essential for poverty reduction efforts across the BRICS countries’.
The minister said the BRICS economies have significant experience in implementing and enforcing modern competition laws within their jurisdiction and advised the competition authorities of these countries to embark on an exercise of jointly addressing the common challenges they face in enforcing competition regimes.
In his welcome address, CCI Chairman said that conference would provide an opportunity for the five BRICS countries to share the challenges faced in their respective countries and gain from the experiences of good practices of mature competition authorities and the international community at large.
"This would enable the competition authorities to become more effective institutional ombudsman for fair play in the market," Chawla said.
Image: Sachin Pilot