BRICS competition authorities convene in Egypt to discuss food security, grain trade

Daily News Egypt
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The competition authorities of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) gathered in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday for a two-day meeting to discuss critical issues related to global food supply chains and grain trade.

This marks the first competition-related meeting hosted by Egypt since its official accession to the BRICS group earlier this year.

Addressing Market Distortions and Ensuring Food Security:

The meeting, held under the auspices of the Egyptian Prime Minister, aims to develop new mechanisms to tackle distortions affecting the global grain trade market. Key concerns include anti-competitive practices, market dominance by major players, and fluctuations in supply chains. These factors can lead to price instability, reduced access to food, and increased financial burdens for consumers worldwide.

Strengthening Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing:

Mahmoud Momtaz, Chairperson of the Egyptian Competition Authority, emphasized the importance of collaboration between competition authorities to ensure fair competition and market transparency. He highlighted the need to address challenges and create a more inclusive market environment in the food sector.

Andrey Tsyganov, Deputy Head of Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, commended Egypt’s active role in competition law and emphasized the importance of bilateral and international cooperation in tackling strategic issues like food security.

Building a More Sustainable Future:

Alexey Ivanov, Director of the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre, welcomed the opportunity to enhance cooperation in combating anti-competitive practices in food supply chains. The meeting will witness presentations, discussions, and knowledge sharing on ongoing investigations and innovative approaches to food market regulation.

Teresa Moreira, Head of the UNCTAD’s Competition and Consumer Policies Branch, underscored the timeliness of the meeting given the current concerns about rising food prices. She reiterated UNCTAD’s commitment to collaborating with BRICS and Egypt to find solutions to this critical global issue.

Planned Sessions and Outcomes:

The conference features several sessions focusing on topics like global food value chains and competition law, national initiatives in food market competition, and innovative global approaches to regulation. Closed sessions for BRICS working groups will further discuss specific competition issues in food markets and develop strategies for cooperation.

This meeting is expected to contribute significantly to enhancing food security, promoting fair competition, and fostering a more sustainable and equitable global food system.

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