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CRA & MEC Conduct Workshop on Competition Supporting Development & Innovation

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Workshop discussed initiatives, challenges and benefits of

competition in ICT and other sectors

As part of its Competition Framework implementation plan, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) today conducted a high-level workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC). The workshop entitled “The Role of Competition in Supporting Development & Innovation” brought together government entities and relevant stakeholders to discuss initiatives, challenges and benefits of competition in ICT and other sectors.

Globally, competition has been identified as a critical driver of innovation and economic growth. The CRA workshop discussed how relevant entities can collaborate to help nurture and encourage open and fair competition.

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“Such capacity building initiatives are important in achieving the critical objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030. Competition is a key driver in fostering and initiating economic growth, diversification and innovation. CRA consistently strives to create an attractive and sustainable market that attracts long term investments,” said H.E. Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai, President of CRA. “Consumers benefit from competition as well as service providers because of enhanced efficiency, availability of higher quality and diverse services and more competitive prices,” he added.

Saud Sultan Al-Assiri, Head of Competition Protection Department, MEC, emphasized that such scientific seminars and events are important for MEC, to spread the culture of competition among business sector, corporate officials, specialists and all concerned in the area of competition. This is a key part of MEC’s vision and initiatives to enhance business climate, encourage investments and support the private sector to achieve comprehensive development, sustainable prosperity and economic growth in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.

A panel discussion at the workshop focussed on Qatar’s experience in protecting competition in the market. Panellists discussed whether competition could be the tool needed to foster growth and innovation. The panellists included high-level representatives from the CRA, MEC, Qatar University, Emiri Diwan, Qatar Investment Authority, and AAB (Toyota – Qatar).

Another key highlight was MEC’s presentation on the current legal and institutional framework supporting competition law enforcement. MEC also presented important achievements since the issuance of Law No. (19) of 2006 on the protection of competition and the prevention of monopolistic practices. MEC shared initiatives that resulted Qatar’s high ranking in the market efficiency indices and the effectiveness of antitrust policies regionally and internationally (competitiveness index of the Davos Economic Forum).

It is worth mentioning that both the CRA and MEC have consistently organized such seminars and events. Earlier this year, CRA conducted a series of intensive workshops attended by relevant stakeholders. The workshops formed a key part of the implementation and enforcement measures of the Competition Framework, issued by CRA in 2015 to encourage competition and to combat anti-competitive practices in Qatar’s communications sector.

MEC has also organized specialized technical workshops and international seminars such as the seminar on competition in tenders as well as the seminar on cross-border collaboration in consumer protection and competition in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission of the United States of America.

The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) is the communications regulator in the state of Qatar established by virtue of Emiri Decree (42) in 2014. CRA regulates the communications & information technology and postal sectors, and access to digital media. CRA uses its regulatory powers mandated by the Emiri decree to protect consumer rights, ensure competition, manage the resolution of disputes, and manage the electromagnetic spectrum. In all its activities, the CRA seeks to ensure the provision of advanced, innovative and reliable ICT and postal services across the state of Qatar.

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