Increased competition can improve a country’s economic performance, open business opportunities and reduce the cost of goods and services to the benefit of consumers. However, numerous laws and regulations can restrict competition in the marketplace.
In Mexico, regulatory constraints are a reason for weak competition. According to the OECD Product Market Regulation index, the Mexican markets are one the most heavily regulated within OECD members.
Identifying competition-distorting rules and provisions in Mexico's legislation is therefore key to help the country improve its productivity and growth.
About the project
Between July 2016 and January 2018, the OECD carried out a thorough and independent policy assessment in Mexico to identify rules and regulations that may hinder the efficient functioning of markets in the sectors of medicines and meat.
Making use of the methodology in the Competition Assessment Toolkit, a project team composed of competition experts, economists and lawyers from OECD and the Mexican Ministry of Economy, conducted an assessment of the regulations potentially restricting competition along the value chain of the designated sectors and proposed specific recommendations for change.
In the medicines sector, the project team analysed the relevant federal legislation of Mexico covering manufacturing, wholesale as well as retail of medicines and food supplements. In the meat subsector (beef, pork, chicken) the project team scrutinized federal legislation covering farm product raw material and farm supplies wholesale, slaughtering and meat processing activities, pet food manufacturing, and grocery wholesale and retail sales. The investigation also included support activities for the raising of livestock, such as logistics activities, warehousing and transport activities with regard to meat.
During the project the OECD held a series of workshops to build the capacity of Mexican officials from the government to conduct competition assessment, in line with international best practices, through the application of the Competition Assessment Toolkit. A first workshop introducing the Competition Assessment Toolkit was held with more than 100 officials on 21 September 2016 explaining the main principles applied during the project. A second workshop on 9 April 2017 dealt with qualitative and quantitative in-depth analysis. The substantive knowledge gained can then be applied to similar exercises in other sectors or to new laws and regulations.
Competition Assessment Toolkit
Helping governments eliminate barriers to competition
The OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit was designed to help governments eliminate barriers to competition through a method that identifies unnecessary restraints on market activities and develops alternative, less restrictive measures that still achieve government policy objectives.
The toolkit has been used by Greece (2013, 2014, 2017) and Romania (2016) to identify barriers to competition in selected sectors of their economies. Mexico is the third country to undergo a Competition Assessment Review of its laws and regulation on selected sectors and Portugal is also working on an assessment of 5 different sectors. Learn more about the Competition Assessment toolkit and related projects.
The toolkit is composed of 3 volumes: Principles, Guidance and Operational Manual. The first two volumes are available in more than 17 languages.