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Development of Competition in the Socially Important Markets: the Experience of the BRICS, EAEU and CIS Countries

The discussion was organized by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia. Sergey Puzyrevskiy, Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, was moderating the round table. Application of different approaches to promote competition in various jurisdictions was discussed by Igor Artemiev, Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, Frederic Jenny, Professor at the OECD, Ilya Lomakin-Rumyantsev, Chairman of the Presidium of the AKORT Retail Companies Association, Frank Shauff, Chief Executive Officer at the Association of European Businesses, Dmitry Kurdyukov, Director of Legal and External Affairs at Porsche Russland, Tembinkosi Bonakele, Commissioner of the Competition Commission of the Republic of South Africa, Sua Bunker, Member of the Competition Commission of India, Luisa Kharmandayan, Head of International Unit at the Administrative Council for Economic Defense, Dong Zhiming, Director General of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau, National Development and Reform Commission of China and Filippo Patroni Griffi, Vice President of the Italian Council of State, Oxana Gvozdilina, Judge Retired of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, Artak Shaboyan, Chairman of the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition of Republic of Armenia, Chairman of the Interstate Council for Antimonopoly Policy, Wang Jiangping, Vice-Minister of the SAIC the Peoples' Republic of China, and Han Chunlin, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Commerce of the Peoples' Republic of China.

The session started with the keynote presentation by Igor Artemiev. According to him, the countries that make up BRICS, EAEU and CIS need to combine efforts to protect economies. “I think that, talking about BRICS and other international formats, we definitely need to join our efforts in the fight against bad practices, so that our countries, and social markets in particular, would enjoy the best practices that we could ever have in the economic life of different countries,” the moderator said.

Among the priorities for the antimonopoly authorities the Head of the Antimonopoly Service mentioned circulation of pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, electricity and energy sectors and some others. Besides, according to Igor Artemiev, it’s necessary to fight bad practices not through tough public restrictions, but soft power.

In his presentation Frederic Jenny, Professor at the OECD, talked about careful monitoring of antimonopoly enforcement across different countries. He also came up with the topic of soft law instruments. “In their pursuit of maximum effectiveness antimonopoly authorities of the world are looking for alternative or complementary ways to solve existing problems. We have designed a number of instruments of the so-called soft law, which are considered to be contributing to the effectiveness of antimonopoly enforcement,” the expert explained.

According to Frederic Jenny, these instruments could include self-reporting, which cuts costs for identification of violation, as well as compliance and sanctions cutback if violators admit their mistake.

Mainstream areas that exemplified the effectiveness of the soft law in antimonopoly system during the discussion were pharmaceuticals, retailing, and car manufacturing.

Dmitry Kurdyukov, Director of Legal and External Affairs at Porsche Russland, told about the common Code of Conduct established together with other car manufacturers, including BMW and Ford. “We concluded that for us it would be reasonable to have a code of conduct that could regulate all basic issues that we have at the market for the moment. We considered all the issues that had been discussed at the expert council and ended up with 17 basic issues or items that were further included in the Code,” he explains.

In the first part of the discussion the participants came to the overall understanding that this and other mechanisms provide for the transparent and win-win relations in the spirit of good faith between actors. The instrument, according to the speakers, is of high efficiency that prevents violations of market competition rules as well as significantly reduces time and money costs of economic actors and antimonopoly authorities.

In the second part of the discussion BRICS representatives shared experience of antimonopoly efforts in their respective countries. Particularly, Luisa Kharmandayan told about central issues in Brazilian antimonopoly policies. “I represent a developing country and, being a part of the developing market, communities in BRICS countries can benefit greatly from better market competition and its presence at the socially important healthcare, food and communication markets. This is one of the central issues on the BRICS agenda. Antimonopoly authorities of my country are focused on economy protection through facilitation of free competition,” told Luisa Kharmandayan.

Wang Jiangping, Vice-Minister of the SAIC of the Peoples' Republic of China, highlighted the ways an antimonopoly investigation was carried out in China.

“In 2015 trade and industry authorities, who have a close link with consumers, have achieved an important benchmark and made a competition survey in the area of water supply, electrical energy, gas supply and transportation. This year the chief directorate has made important plans and violation lists in the area of consumer rights and competition restriction,” he explains.

Overall, all the speakers stressed the importance of cooperation between countries in the area of law enforcement, as well as of best practices exchange in self-regulation instruments’ application.