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Business, Power and Politics: Creating competitive markets for business and development

Time (GMT +01) 16:30 18:00

Karen Ellis
- Business and Development Leader, ODI
Phil Evans - Senior Consultant, Fipra International
Michael Bowsher QC - Monckton Chambers

Simon Maxwell - Senior Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute


This meeting will explore how the relationship between business and government effects market outcomes. Industrial, regulatory and competition policies have a big impact on the ability of businesses to enter developing country markets, to grow, innovate, create jobs, and contribute to development. Such policies can either provide a good, enabling environment for business, or make it very difficult to do business. Uncertainty about future policy and regulatory changes can by itself undermine incentives to invest.

In some countries and sectors, the relationship between big business and government can be very close, and mutually beneficial e.g. a business may enter a market and create many new jobs in a region, and contribute considerable tax revenue for the government, in return for which they are granted protection from imports or other companies. This relationship with government can make or break a company’s success and survival. But it can also make it impossible for other businesses to enter the market and compete, which can be detrimental to economic outcomes in the longer term, resulting in higher prices and reduced access to services for consumers, and reduced innovation and competitiveness on world markets.