An integrated approach to Competition and Consumer Protection issues
In the case of Peru the implementing institution INDECOPI, is the agency responsible for competition and consumer protection issues. A major achievement of the Project for Peru includes the strengthening of the statistical analysis unit of INDECOPI. A study carried out under the activity P.1.4. on the evaluation of methodologies to measure the impact of decisions taken by the competition agency in Peru, uncovered deficiencies in the availability of systematized and consolidated information to measure the impact of decisions taken. A mechanism of market surveillance (market observatory) was created in response for key sectors of the Peruvian economy. Through monitoring the markets, this mechanism allows INDECOPI to detect and prevent harm that could be created by market deficiencies.
Competition law in Peru has recently been reformed in 2010, still leaving in place a control on market structures (concentrations) in the electricity sector. Further, companies that carried out suspected conducts will be detected. This in turn would influence business practices on matters of competition and consumer protection.
In terms of capacity building Peru not only received training by COMCO but also contributed by offering internships at INDECOPI to peer institutions of COMPAL and the whole Latin American region. This allowed for an exchange of experiences and the creation of an informal network of Latin American experts. It is expected that in COMPAL II, beneficiary countries will participate in the yearly internships organized by INDECOPI.
The difficulties faced by INDECOPI in COMPAL I relate mostly to changes in institutional priorities, and the board of directors. This led to a frequent modification of timeframes and contents of activities. Moreover, the decentralisation activities to consumer associations in the provinces could not be carried out due to a lack of resources.
Three major needs have been highlighted by INDECOPI regarding competition and consumer
1. the need to improve business practices for the benefit of consumers;
2. the need to stimulate the formalisation process of the Peruvian economy, and
3. the need to reinforce the consumer protection system by providing reliable information, especially in the domain of higher education.
In accordance to the objective at regional level of COMPAL II, this country will continue working on strengthening the institutional framework of INDECOPI, drawing on the successful outcomes of COMPAL I, and deepening on topics such as the formalization of the informal sector, which is currently jeopardizing the dynamics of emerging markets. An important aspect in the process of strengthening INDECOPI is to encourage active participation of the institution in all the regions of the country. In addition, the legitimacy of the institution should be strengthened. This could be achieved by focusing analysis on sectors of strategic growth in the economy. A first national objective related to competition for COMPAL II will be:
"Strengthening the role of INDECOPI in the enforcement of competition and consumer protection ".
Similarly it is necessary to continue promoting consumer protection advocacy in the Peruvian markets. Thus, it is envisaged to deepen this component by fostering better citizenship participation at national level and raising awareness of the private sector on consumer rights. A second national objective for COMPAL II will be the following:
" To improve citizen’s participation for a better and efficient consumer protection at the national level".
Finally, as an element of deepening market organization and in order to fight against the informal sector and based on inputs from the national coordinator, UNCTAD suggests a third national objective:
"To promote the formality of markets and increase SMEs competitiveness at national level, particularly those that participate in the Technical Committee of the National Normalisation institution "
Mr. Mauricio Gonzales
Head, International Relations
See the activities with Peru in the COMPAL Extranet (for members only)