IGOR ARTEMIEV: THE GOVERNMENT IS STRONGER THAN CORPORATIONS
Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Igor Artemiev discussed antimonopoly and tariff policy, synergy of these functions, international collaboration and the National Competition Development Plan at a plenary session of FAS Collegium
The main event of the International Event “The Russian Competition Week” on 25 September 2018 in Sochi, Rosa Khutor, was an extended FAS Collegium – International Conference “Competition Policy: Focus on Efficiency”.
The key report was given by Head of FAS Igor Artemiev. He talked about pursuing competition policy, triggered by No.618 Order of the President of Russia “On the main directions of the state policy towards developing competition”, that came into force on 21 December 2017. The Order approved 2018-2020 National Plan for Developing Competition in Russia and the Road Map for competition development in various sectors of the economy.
“This is a fundamental Order which will ensure sustainability of Russia and well-being of the population. Along with four antimonopoly packages that changed the law, the Order has become a pivotal policy document which will be instrumental in making a step forward”, emphasized Igor Artemiev.
Among the remaining problems, Head of FAS stressed a high degree of state participation in the economy, cartelization, insignificant share of small business and systemic issues of supporting equal access to procurement and public resources. Solving, in particular, those issues, is the objectiveof the National Competition Development Plan.
A number of pro-competitive actions ahs already been performed. For example, all procurements are transferred in the electronic format; Road Maps for developing competition in all sectors of the economy are created.
“Electronic procurement is a fantastic database for comparing prices across Russia, e-benchmarking has already been in place in Russia”, pointed out Igor Artemiev.
In April 2018, the State Council on developing competition in the regions took place, following specific instructions that were given to the Heads of regions.
“Today the Governors’ attitude towards competition is changing”, said Head of FAS and expressed hope that it soon will be clear from regional indicators – the subjects of the Russian Federation determined the key targets for competition development in 41 sectors of the economy.
He also discussed tariff regulation in Russia: “We are pursuing our tariff policy from the position of the competition authority and the principle of consumer protection. We index tariffs only under the “inflation minus” principles, i.e., tariffs reduce every year, and companies must work on their costs”.
Talking about consideration of M&A on the global markets, Igor Artemiev emphasized: “The government is stronger than corporations, while international collaboration enables us to achieve serious economic effects”. He also called approving deals with technology transfer a “successful leverage” for transnational corporations.
“We watch with hope demonopolization programmes in Russia, and this policy, no doubt, will lead to absolutely different growth rates of Russian GDP”, concluded Head of FAS.