The FCO’s Rules-Based-International-Economic System (RuBIES) Fund is now inviting concept bids for 2014-15 for the Latin America region.
The UK views a rules-based system as vital for ensuring a transparent, predictable, competitive and efficient global economy that sets the conditions for growth supporting our broader Prosperity objectives. As a result the FCO will be leading projects to improve the engagement and implementation of priority rule areas in various regions. The RuBIES Regional Strategy for Latin America covers the Pacific Alliance countries plus Costa Rica and Panama, and is seeking project proposals that focus specifically on the above topic.
Competition authorities’ activities across the world can be summarized in three areas: enforcement (cases), communication and advocacy, and market studies. The latter assesses competition in a particular area and recommends improvements that will benefit the consumer and promotes competition within the economy. Market studies also involve analysis of a particular market, or practices across a range of goods and services, with the aim of identifying and addressing aspects of market failure from competition issues to consumer detriment and the effect of government regulations.
Market studies support FCO goals of creating a level playing field for businesses operating in and wanting to enter markets abroad. They address the causes of why a particular market is not working well for consumers, leading to proposals as to how they might remove anti-competitive practices within the market with benefits for businesses and consumers. Market Studies take an overview of regulatory, economic drivers and patterns of consumer and business behavior in a market. It can also be used to examine issues in markets in which public sector operate as suppliers.
• Improve the institutional framework for market analysis and studies: definition, measures, evaluation, strategies for the right use of intelligence, etc.
• Build capacity on market studies proposals that includes the problem, causes and recommendations and improve market investigations reference to industries
• Reinforce the use of economic analyses when building market studies
• Transparent and well manage market studies
• Maximize the impact of market studies
• Improve the quality and accessibility of information for consumers
• A more competitive, efficient and innovative business environment
It will be down to the implementer to decide what activities have most impact, however the project should meet, but not be limited to, the following objectives:
- Draw on UK and EU expertise and experiences in the development of market studies.
- Create awareness among competition agencies that they play a fundamental role in promoting a competitive environment for economic activities by means of non-enforcement mechanisms, mainly through its relationships with other governmental entities and by increasing public awareness of the benefits of competition.
- Compare institutional framework of market studies across the region.
- Evaluate and make recommendations as follows, but not limited to: a. Country assessment of international standards for doing market studies. b. Describe clear methodologies and provide recommendations to improve analysis. c. Provide clear understanding of how best apply principles of transparency. d. Best practices when engaging stakeholders (businesses, governments and consumer groups) for consultation. e. Provide the right framework and process for data collection and improve consumer data analysis. f. Provide recommendations that improve the institutional framework of competition authorities to structure and deliver market studies. g. Understand how to use economic analyses to develop market studies, making use of industry studies, reports, market data, surveys etc. h. Provide tools for the appropriate monitoring of progress. i. Provide understanding of competition implications and the risk that could affect a study. j. Identify which industries require a market study and the criteria to use.
- Share the learning’s and recommendations through a regional conference with other countries outside the project
Scoping Mission: applicable to the countries that have expressed an interest in implementing OECD instruments in the areas of competition, reinforcing their capacity to conduct market studies. The purpose of this consultation is to obtain feedback on how the revised guidance is presented and how clear the content is so that we can ensure its usefulness to its audience and therefore make recommendations to the respective competition authorities.
Regional Conference: high-level face-to-face event that will (i) share the results/findings from the countries analyzed (ii) require countries to share at least one case of how they manage market study in their jurisdictions, (iii) have training modules available to adapt to their needs (iv) share other tools available for market analysis and further develop on competition assessment e.g. tool kit assessment. This part of the project is not intended to be comprehensive in that it cannot cover every possible circumstance on the best use and application of market studies but to set out the general framework to conduct market studies.
The training should be concentrated on the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico) +2 (Costa Rica and Panama). If matching funds can be found from elsewhere the project can include neighboring countries.
The deadline for concept bids is Friday 11th of April 2014.
The projects will need to start by May 2014 and finish by March 2015 at the latest.
Up to £ 75,000 Co-funding is not essential but desirable For further details of eligibility follow this link and scroll down to “How to apply for funding” you will find three documents for guidance (1) Prosperity Programme Strategy (2) How to complete a concept bid (3) Project Proposal – Concept Form . We request that when drawing up the bid, you include the following points: 1. Value added: why is your organization the best one to do this work and not another implementer 2. How will the project lead to transformational change; practical interventions leading to real differences to decision making; evidence or analysis translating into action plans 3. How this project will profile UK expertise and what is the direct UK benefit 4. Strategic fit to the RuBIES Fund Objectives 5. Rationale for project – Including why the project should take place now 6. Stakeholder buy-in: Host governments must have been consulted and be supportive 7. Communication Strategy 8. Sustainability once the project has been completed
UK based implementers: send your bids to firstname.lastname@example.org and Cc email@example.com Implementers in Latin America or elsewhere: send your bids to firstname.lastname@example.org and Cc/inform the Prosperity Officer at the nearest British Embassy.