While the children of the island are anxiously awaiting the arrival of St. Nicholas into their homes today, the Fair Trade Authority Curacao (FTAC) would like to raise awareness of World Competition Day. The International Network of Civil Society Organisation on Competition (INCSO) announced and proposed the first World Competition Day, on this date back in 2010.
By observing World Competition Day we would like to be among the many countries and competition authorities that are spreading awareness of the benefits of a competitive market structure, and the theme for 2022 “Competition Policy and Climate Change”.
The fact that Curaçao will also be confronted with the effects of climate change is increasingly wildly accepted. Climate change affects our island and our economy directly. Among other things, climate change and global warming have severe consequences for the survival of our coral reefs and their marine ecosystems. Various climate change projections indicate that the number of major tropical cyclones will likely increase due to climate change. Sea level rise will cause erosion, damaging coastal zones, and establishments there such as fisheries, hotels and ports.
Sustainability and competition law are connected. One reason for this is that competition policy can play a role in incentivizing for green innovation. A competitive market pushes undertakings to compete and can lead to lower prices, more choice, higher quality and new innovative products and services. Enforcement of competition law compliance therefore promotes sustainable innovation, among other things. The consumers of Curaçao benefit from this.
The FTAC investigates complaints from consumers and undertakings, which are negatively affected by distortion of competition caused by the violation of the prohibition on cartels.
The national ordinance on competition prohibits agreements and market practices between undertakings that restrict competition. Sometimes however, agreements that restrict the competition have a limited or positive impact on competition and create efficiencies or innovation. These agreements are not always prohibited and may fall under the exceptions to the prohibition on cartels. The damages that these agreements cause can be outweighed by their benefits to the consumer. If the benefits of the restriction of competition outweigh the drawbacks, undertakings that want to make such agreements, may receive an exemption from this prohibition. Sustainability agreements between can also be eligible for this excemtion.
For example certain agreements between undertakings may be eligible for such an exemption they aim to reduce environmental damage, prioritize environmental protection and climate change issues to create a more sustainable future. These agreements may provide innovative and sustainable alternatives to consumers.
Especially when these agreements aid to create a diverse selection of sustainable products that are otherwise not possible, the FTAC would like to encourage undertakings to apply for an exemption if they are considering on working together to create a more sustainable economy.
Undertakings may apply for an exemption by completing the exemption form. This form is available on the FTAC’s website: www.ftac.cw. For more information, you can contact the FTAC by asking your question via firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a happy World Competition Day.