From February 21 to 22, the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre in cooperation with the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) and FAS Russia held an international workshop themed “Global Food Value Chains: Focus on the Global Grain Trade” in Cairo, Egypt. The workshop gathered the representatives of antimonopoly authorities and academia from Russia and Egypt.
The global grain trade is an essential element of the global food value chain, as a growing number of countries rely on the international market in providing food security for their people, and respectively, more farmers are selling their produce on the global market. The established mechanisms facilitating this trade are characterized by a sustained economic concentration and such distortions that put both agricultural producers and final consumers in a precarious position. The geopolitical tensions, and military conflicts, like the COVID-19 pandemic and financial crisis of 2008 beforehand, have once again emphasized the systemic problems in the functioning of this segment of the food value chain and has made even more palpable the pressing need to reinvent global trading mechanisms in the grain sector.
At the same time, the historically dominant group of global traders is also in search of new methods to preserve their unique status in the global food value chain. Joint digital platforms and complex forms of financialization are already serving this purpose. 2023 UNCTAD Trade and Development report underscores the gruesome contrast between profits gained through financial trade in grains and rising food insecurity concerns in the most vulnerable regions of the planet. With this workshop, the BRICS competition authorities and academics advanced a discussion as to how a more active and holistic application of competition law principles could help to bring forward a more sustainable and pro-competitive solution for the global grain trade regulation.
- Teresa Moreira, Head of the Competition and Consumer Policies Branch, UNCTAD;
- Eleanor M. Fox, Professor Emerita, New York University School of Law (virtual);
- Mahmoud Momtaz, Chairman, Egyptian Competition Authority;
- Amadou Ceesay, Executive Secretary, Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission;
- Andrey Tsyganov, Deputy Head of FAS Russia;
- Alexey Ivanov, Director, BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre;
- Ioannis Lianos, Professor of Global Competition Law and Policy, UCL;
- Hardin Ratshisusu, Competition Commission of South Africa;
- Mr. Karim Mohamed Toumi, International Trade Law Expert, Commercial Control and Governance Sector - Ministry of Economy, UAE;
- Carolina Saito da Cost, Head of Unit, CADE;
- Liu Hanqing, Department of Competition Policy Coordination of the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR);
- Iman Cheratian, Iranian Competition Authority;