kzk-ekofNALED and the Commission for Protection of Competition have organized a round table on the subject: “Significance and Challenges of Retail Trade Sector Development in Serbia in terms of Competition Policy”. The roundtable is organized so that representatives of companies operating in the retail trade sector in Serbia would be introduced to relevant details of a comprehensive inquiry project regarding retail trade market in Serbia instituted by the Commission for Protection of Competition; and also with the goal of calling upon those involved in this sector’s operations to present their proposals and suggestions toward drafting of this document, which is being prepared for the first time in our country. In addition, this inquiry encompasses the end-user and supply retail trade markets, focusing on relations between retailers and their suppliers, as well as the influence of private-label products affecting competition.

Participants of the roundtable event were welcomed by the President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr. Miloje Obradović, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of NALED, Goran Knežević, while the Head of Department for Economic Inquiries of the CPC, Dr. Siniša Milošević and his associates have introduced the audience with the implementation plan and goals of this sector inquiry.

President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr. Miloje Obradović has emphasized that the Commission considers this task as highly significant, both in terms of the importance that this sector holds for the overall county’s economic activity, and concrete benefits for consumers, which is ultimately one of the core elements of an efficient competition policy.

Retail trade represents an economic sector with most prominent effect of a fair level playing field affecting consumers directly, having in mind that retail trade can achieve a direct contact with them, and concerning the rule of end-buyers ultimately bearing all the burden. Hence, I believe this inquiry can also contribute to the increased trust of consumers in undertakings directly if they are assured that everybody operates in accordance with the fair rules of the game, said President Obradović. – The Commission will extensively investigate current market structures, keeping in mind the great number of changes and takeovers occurring in the last decade, which will ultimately contribute to the increasingly improved and efficient protection of competition, thus enabling equal business operating conditions for all.

Participants recognized a joint interest in creating a realistic insight into conditions and relations on the food, beverages and tobacco retail trade markets, because the public often misperceives market shares in the retail trade sector, which harms and disturbs the reputation of undertakings directly, but also questions the efficiency of the Commission for Protection of Competition as well.

Representatives of the retail trade sector and suppliers participated at this roundtable, as well as delegates of the Ministry of Trade, law offices and expert public, while the event was organized within the Working group for Chapter 8 “Competition Policy” of the National Convent, chaired by the NALED.