Research and publications of the Asian economy

Australia's experience in reforming competition policy

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev conducts a bold anti-corruption policy, and it is part of the economic policy of the state. Undoubtedly, one of the main sources of corruption in the republic is the existence of artificial monopolies and their desire to preserve at any price a favorable position in the local market, violating the rules of fair competition.

In this context, the experience of Australia is interesting. In the early 90s of the last century, the Australian state leadership realized that in order to eliminate the country's economic and social backwardness, it is necessary to take decisive steps to reform the competition policy. In 1992, the Government of the country established a Committee on the revision of the national competition policy, whose task was to formulate the necessary changes to legislation and other measures related to problems in the implementation of the Trade Practices Act with regard to competition policy. This act was adopted back in 1974 to protect consumers and contained a number of measures that hampered restrictive trade practices.

The chairman of the committee was appointed Professor Fred Gilmer - a figure known in academic and business circles in Australia. The committee consisted of scientists, business representatives, officials and lawyers - experts in the field of competition.

The report prepared by the committee took into account the problems that arose in the process of reforms in microeconomics due to the constitutional limitations of the application of the 1974 act and the lack of coordination in the actions of the federal and state governments. It is also important that the report took into account the economic role of state-owned enterprises, including monopolists, who began to conduct active commercial activities on an equal basis with private ones. The principal recommendations of the report, completed in 1993, were:

- To carry out all commercial activities in Australia on equal terms, regardless of the form of ownership of the enterprise;

- To create a new regulatory mechanism to prevent that companies that control the basic objects with monopoly characteristics, do not abuse their market position;

- follow the principles, among which, for example, was this: before commencing business, state bodies should adhere to "competitive neutrality" in order to prevent distortion of competition, which is possible due to the provision of various benefits to them.

The declared goal of the national competition policy in the public sector part was to achieve the most effective provision of goods and services by the state through reforms aimed at minimizing competition restrictions and encouraging competitive neutrality. The main approach - any policy that restricts competition, can be justified only if it brings public benefits. A policy for which the public good can not be demonstrated should be revised in such a way that it does not reduce competition.

The aim of competitive neutrality policy is the elimination of distortions as a result of resource allocation, naturally arising from state ownership entities which are engaged in trading activities Trade (economic) activities of the government should not enjoy a competitive advantage only on the fact of ownership one or the other state (public) sector

The report was the most powerful intellectual breakthrough in microeconomic reform, and its recommendations were quickly implemented in the Trade Practices Act, which was formalized in three agreements between the federal and state governments. The act became the key normative document on the development of competition in Australia and only in 2010 it was replaced by the Act on Competition and Consumers

Further studies by the Australian Commission on Productivity showed that Gilmer's reforms had a significant impact on the growth of the productivity of the economy while helping to maintain the country's impressive economic growth in the second half of the 1990s and in the 2000s Australia not only regained lost ground, but also took the leading place in the world economic table of ranks.

And according to the results of 2010, Australia took the second place in the world in the rating of the quality of life, behind France, which took the first place, by just one point. The Quality of Life Index is a complex indicator characterizing the level of social development achieved by the country, including in the sphere of economy, ecology, infrastructure, culture, security, etc.