APEC Seminar on Competition Policy and Law Group

2nd APEC Regional Seminar of ANSSR Initiatives Against Anti-Competitive Practices for Ensuring Functioning of Open, Transparent and Competitive Markets was held in Kazan, Russia on October 13-15, 2015.

This 2nd regional seminar on competition policy was a continuation of the previous successful events in direct response to both the “APEC Structural Reform Action Plan” and LAISR  in particular the Seminar on competition policy hosted in 2013 in Chinese Taipei (CPLG 01 2013A ) and facilitated capacity building for competition related authorities in APEC member economies which in their turn had as their own goal promotion of economic growth, making markets work more efficiently for the benefits of citizens as end consumers. The key objectives of this project were to share experience on investigative techniques for cartel detection, enforcement tools such as leniency and settlement, to help participants realise the scope of possibilities on information exchange between member economies upon investigation of trans-border cases or bid-ridding cases; to build capacity especially for the newly established and younger competition authorities by better utilization of the accumulated APEC knowledge and expertise.and benefit from general overview by representatives of international organizations and academic sector on cartel issues.

This  three-day seminar focused on urgent competition issues which constitute one of the pillars of the ANSSR. The seminar served as means of implementation of the ANSSR plan, trade facilitation in the APEC region, and further promote the creation of favourable competitive environment for SMEs, and improve market efficiency. Participants from competition authorities of the  APEC member economies actively participated in discussions and shared experience on the topics: “Effective Implementation of Competition Policy and Law” and “Anti-Cartel Enforcement”. On the first plenary day the following keynote speeches were presented: “Effective Implementation of Competition Policy and Law: Approaches to Tackle Anticompetitive Practices”; “Improvement and Harmonization of the Competition Legislation  in Asia-Pacific Region”; “Information Exchange  between Competition Authorities  upon  Investigation of Trans-Border Cases”; “Anti-Cartel Enforcement: Investigative Techniques”; “The Role of the Economic Analysis in Proving Cartels”; “A Special Form of Cartels: Bid Rigging in Public Procurement – Prevention and Detection -The OECD Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement”. On the next two days all participants were divided traditionally for APEC seminars into Small Group 1 “Effective Implementation of Competition Policy and Law” and  Small Group 2 “Anti-Cartel Enforcement” to discuss these topics and share experience and best practices. Each participant was encouraged to actively take part in the activities of the seminar and to make a presentation and/or report on a case to introduce experience of his/her economy related to the topic.

At the Seminar participants focused very specifically on investigation techniques and procedural issues related to cartel investigations, strategies of anti-cartel enforcement tools, remedy proposals and issues of information exchange between member economies upon investigation of trans-border cartel or bid-rigging cases. Representatives of the competition authorities of the APEC member economies shared knowledge and experience on most urgent issues of competition policy and law enforcement, have improved understanding of the differences and similarities in competition law enforcement amongst APEC member economies.