FAS singed a Memorandum on Cooperation with China National Development and Reform Commission
On 12 April 2017, during the working visit of a FAS delegation to Beijing (China), there was an official ceremony of signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Antimonopoly Cooperation between FAS andChina National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The Memorandum formalizes a variety of cooperation areas at different levels and formats. According to the memorandum, the Parties shall have meetings at least once a year, in turn in China and Russia to share information about the latest developments in competition law and exchange opinions on the issues of mutual interest.
Prior to the official ceremony of singing the Memorandum there was a bilateral meeting of the FAS delegation led by Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov with NDRC Vice-Minister, Hu Zucai.
The Parties exchanged information about the most significant changes in the competition laws in Russia and China and discussed high-profile cases recently investigated by the antimonopoly bodies. The most important cases for NDRC, which functions include investigating cartel cases and control over abusing dominance, were on the markets of information technologies, and ocean liner shipments. Special attention was paid to retail trade and electric power markets. Andrey Tsyganov pointed out that those markets also were and remain in the focus of FAS attention in Russia, which gives a practical basis for developing bilateral cooperation between the competition bodies of Russia and China. The Parties discussed specifics of control over actions of the authorities, which also falls in the competence of both bodies. Andrey Tsyganov described in detail FAS multi-year experience in this field and informed about devising the National Competition Development Plan. Hu Zucai said that NDRC does not have such a significant experience of control over the public bodies; lately, however, certain progress has been made, primarily, in harmonizing the process of drafting regulatory acts in order to prevent competition restrictions and “administrative monopoly”.
Andrey Tsyganov informed the Chinese colleagues about the future events to be organized by FAS: the antimonopoly track at St Petersburg International legal Forum (17-19 May 2017, St Petersburg), a traditional international event – the Competition Week in Russia (18-22 September 2017, Veliky Novgorod), and a Research-to-Practice Conference on Antimonopoly Policy (December 2017, Москва). He invited NDRC representatives to take an active part in those events. Hu Zucai assured the FAS delegation in his increased interest in participating in all FAS events.
Considerable attention was also given to cooperation under BRICS format. The Parties discussed such issues as including competition events in the time-schedule of the official programme of China chairmanship in BRICS in 2017, establishing BRICS Competition Centre and drafting a Joint Statement of the antimonopoly authorities of BRICS countries on fair pricing practices in the ocean liner shipment markets.
“FAS and NDRC have significant experience of efficient cooperation; NDRC representatives take part in FAS events on a regular basis. Signing the Memorandum of Understanding develops the already existing forms of cooperation and formalizes new areas of interaction. The competition authorities of Russia and China have a lot of common themes for a dialogue, not only in the context of exchanging experiences and opinions, but also in terms of enforcement practice. Signing the Memorandum on Cooperation with NDRC completes the process of regulatory formalization of FAS cooperation with Chinese competition bodies – we have the relevant Intergovernmental Agreement and the Memorandums of Understanding and Cooperation Programmes with SAIC, the Ministry of Commerce and NDRC”, summed up Andrey Tsyganov.