Good Governance, the Informal Sector and Protection of Competition in the Market: Lessons from CARICOM


  • Taimoon Stewart Fellow at the SALISES, St. Augustine Campus; Vice President of the Negotiating Group on Competition Policy in the FTAA


Competition law protects the process of competition int he market by proscribing anti-competitive business conduct by public and private economic actors. The assumption is that enforcement of such rules would lead to welfare benefits for consumers and entrepreneurial opportunities for producers as firms become more efficient, offer better products at lower prices, and leave open opportunities for market entry by competitors. Yet, an examination of competition issues in selected CARlCOM countries revealed that, even if there were competition law and effective enforcement in these economies, this would have been insufficient to protect the process of competition in the market. Interviews in these economies revealed that intervention in the market by government officials to favour some competitors above others, and illegal activities in both the formal and informal sectors were distorting competition in the market. This points to the need to address issues of good governance simultaneously with introducing and implementing a competition regime.