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Montecon warns that lack of competition in the port may affect Uruguay’s entry into the CPTPP

Document from the Commission for the Defense of Competition revived Montecon's port claims

container loading and unloading company Montecon reiterated its criticism of the extension of the concession that the government granted to Katoen Natie for Terminal Cuenca del Plata in the port of Montevideo. On this occasion, she maintained that the berthing priority for container ships granted may harm Uruguay’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Agreement (CPTPP).

“Free competition in the internal market of each member country is an essential element to be accepted as part of the CPTPP, and the actions of the Uruguayan State in relation to Montecon point exactly in the opposite direction. The country is in a very poor position in terms of respect for investment protection regulations and mortgages its possibilities of insertion and international opening,” said the director of Montecon, Fernando Reveco.

Among the obligations and rules to which the members of the CPTPP submit, is included one provided in its article 16.1 that obliges countries to apply their national competition laws to all commercial activities in their territory, and even to those that are develop outside its borders but have anti-competitive effects within its jurisdiction.

According to Montecon, the Uruguayan State “has arranged acts that contravene free competition, which ultimately intervene in the port market to create a monopoly in favor of a company in which it also has a shareholding.”

He added that the company was “deprived of the opportunity to compete and is prevented by decree from allowing its clients to be served by it.”

The container operator presented in September 2021 before the Commission for the Promotion and Defense of Competition, a decentralized body of the Ministry of Economy, for the extension of the port concession.

The commission decided to move forward with the complaint, but the MEF revoked that resolution. In February he took up the case again. And again that resolution was revoked by the ministry. he

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