OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Iceland



Publication date: 10 November 2020 





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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Iceland can promote economic recovery and resilience by cutting administrative burdens and promoting competition. The OECD’s competition assessment of two key sectors of the Icelandic economy - construction and tourism – provides a roadmap for doing so.

This assessment, conducted in co-operation with the Icelandic Competition Authority, makes 438 recommendations to contribute to a more flexible environment for businesses, new employment opportunities, higher productivity, and stronger economic growth in the years to come. 

Taken together, the OECD estimates the recommendations in this report could generate in excess of EUR 200 million in benefits per year, around 1% of Iceland’s GDP.

The report was launched on 10 November 2020 and benefited from inputs of OECD SG Angel Gurría, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir (Iceland's Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation), Ásmundur Einar Daðason (Minister of Social Affairs and Children), Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson (Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources), Páll Gunnar Pálsson (Director of Icelandic Competition Authority). 


Read the OECD SG's remarks


In 2019, the government of Iceland asked the OECD to carry out an independent competition assessment of the country’s construction and tourism sectors. The assessment, conducted in co-operation with the Icelandic Competition Authority, involved screening the legislation in both sectors using the OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit. A review of 632 legal texts revealed 676 potential barriers to competition. The OECD then conducted an in-depth analysis of each potential barrier, taking into consideration the objectives of policy makers, the extent of possible competitive harm, international experiences, factors unique to Iceland, and relevant economic and policy literature. 

This work was complemented by workshops to build the capacity of Icelandic officials to conduct competition assessment, in line with international best practices.


OECD Competition Assessment Reviews

OECD Competition Assessment Reviews provide an analysis of regulatory restrictions on competition in the countries reviewed and make specific policy recommendations for reform. The resulting recommendations allow governments to introduce more competition into the economy and foster long-lasting growth.

In addition to Iceland, Tunisia, Brazil, MexicoPortugal (Vol I | Vol II), Greece, and Romania have already undergone similar reviews and similar reviews are currently ongoing in the ten ASEAN member states.

More about the OECD Toolkit and the existing competition assessment reviews


OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit

OECD Recommendation on Competition Assessment 

OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Tunisia 2023

OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Mexico 2019

More OECD work on Competition 


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