Islamabad: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) during the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to China on Friday. The MoU aims to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of competition law and policy, marking a significant milestone in Sino-Pakistani relations.

SAMR, a ministerial-level agency under China’s State Council, is responsible for enforcing anti-monopoly laws and regulating markets. The MoU signifies a new era of collaboration in anti-trust activities between the two nations.

On October 19, 2023, a high-profile Chinese delegation led by Dr. Gan Lin, Vice Minister of SAMR visited the CCP. Discussions between CCP Chairman Dr. Kabir Ahmed Sidhu and Vice Minister Gan Lin highlighted the strategic importance of a partnership focusing on enhancing market regulations, providing training and capacity building, sharing expertise in cartel detection, and collaborating on research projects to improve regulatory efficiency.

China’s substantial investments in Pakistan, particularly through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), are expected to increase significantly with the second phase of CPEC. To accommodate this growth, the CCP is developing a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework. The MoU outlines a framework for cooperation through bilateral meetings, training programs, workshops, research collaborations, and information exchange.

The MoU aims to ensure sound and effective enforcement of competition law, which is crucial for market efficiency and consumer welfare. By fostering technical collaboration and information sharing, this partnership will strengthen bilateral ties and create favourable conditions for economic development.

This is the first international MOU in the Commission’s 16-year history. Moreover, CCP will soon be signing MOUs with competition agencies of Russia, Turkey, and Egypt. This MoU heralds a new chapter in Pakistan-China relations, promoting stronger economic ties and mutual benefits through enhanced cooperation in competition law and policy.