ANDREY TSYGANOV: FAS IS OPEN TO CONSULTATIONS AND READY TO RESPOND PROMPTLY TO REQUESTS OF OUR FOREIGN COLLEAGUES
During a meeting in Beijing the Russian delegation discussed bilateral cooperation between the FAS Russia and the State Administration for Market Regulation of China.
On March 20, 2019, an official meeting of the FAS Russia delegation with the Deputy Minister of the State Administration for Market Regulation of China (SAMR), Ms. Gan Lin, was held in Beijing (China).
The Deputy Head of the FAS Russia Andrey Tsyganov was interested in the main activities of the new antimonopoly authority of China, its functions, goals and legal powers. He also noted that interaction with China is one of the priorities for the FAS Russia.
The parties discussed the prospects for expanding cooperation between the FAS Russia and the SAMR, in particular the possibility of signing a new Intergovernmental Agreement* on cooperation in the field of antimonopoly law enforcement and policy.
“Resulting from the new industrial revolution, the world economy globalization and the spread of new forms of unfair business practices of transnational corporations, antimonopoly authorities have new tasks that require updating the contractual framework between the two countries,” said Andrey Tsyganov. “The purpose of such an Agreement is to update the areas and tools of interaction, taking into account changes in the global economy. The implementation of such an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of antimonopoly policy will promote trade and economic progress of Russia and China for the benefit of consumers.”
“The draft of the new Agreement developed by the FAS Russia defines the main tools for cooperation of the parties in the sphere of law enforcement. It will create the basis for closer cooperation between our authorities and will fully reflect the demands of modern economic realities, including digitalization and globalization of the global economy,” added the Head of the Department for International Economic Cooperation Lesya Davydova.
The parties also discussed the possibility of signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the FAS Russia and the SAMR on the implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the Russian Federation and China on cooperation in the field of countering of unfair competition and antimonopoly policy for 2020-2021**.
The Deputy Head of the FAS Russia told Chinese colleagues about the National Plan on the Development of Competition*** approved by the President of the Russian Federation, which made competition an important part of state policy. Colleagues from the SAMR demonstrated great interest in Russian experience in state regulation of competition issues.
During the meeting, Andrey Tsyganov noted that an important aspect of the fruitful bilateral relations is cooperation between border antitrust authorities:
“A clear evidence of such interaction at the border level was the successful Round table in 2015 in Blagoveshchensk on law enforcement practices, countering of unfair competition and violations of advertising legislation with the participation of senior executives of the border territorial bodies of Russia and China. Active communication between experts and specialists, the exchange of the best antitrust practices and a meeting of the Heads of the bodies played a positive role.”
The Deputy Head of the FAS Russia proposed to continue this tradition and hold similar events in the border areas of Russia and China in the near future.
Andrey Tsyganov invited foreign colleagues to take part in international events organized by the FAS Russia.
The Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service spoke about cooperation in investigating cases of violation of antimonopoly legislation and reviewing global economic concentration deals. He thanked China’s competition authority for effective cooperation.
“The Russian and Chinese markets have similar structure. There are many companies presented in both Russia and China, so the cooperation between the FAS Russia and the Competition Authority of China is especially important for us. We are always open for consultations on specific cases and transactions and are ready to respond promptly to the requests of our foreign colleagues,” said Andrey Tsyganov.
The Deputy Head of the FAS Russia emphasized the effectiveness of waiver of confidentiality, which promotes consultations with the exchange of confidential information what makes their result more efficient.
During the meeting, the parties also discussed cooperation in the BRICS format. Andrey Tsyganov expressed the hope that China’s antimonopoly authority will actively share its experience in antimonopoly law enforcement in the area of investigations of anticompetitive agreements and unfair practices, as well as regarding market analysis, coordination of economic concentration deals and control over monopolies.
Besides, parties discussed one of the most important joint initiatives - the BRICS Antimonopoly Center.
Alexey Ivanov – the director of HSE based BRICS Competition Law and Policy Research Centre spoke about the cooperation that was developed between the academic communities of the BRICS countries.
He said - “We have developed close partnerships with scientists of the BRICS countries and are now holding joint discussions regarding possible new approaches to the antitrust regulation of the digital economy. For example, on April 17-18 in Beijing, together with colleagues from the Universities of Shanghai and Beijing, we will hold discussions in the round table format, where the problems formulated in the report will be discussed in the specific context the Chinese markets. The results of this discussion will be included in the report that will be presented at the September conference in Moscow.”
Alexey Ivanov further noted that the work carried out by the BRICS Center has both scientific and practical importance not only for BRICS countries but globally. Alexei Ivanov stressed the significance of world-renowned scientists joining the BRICS centre to work together. For example, Economics Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has agreed to lead the International Expert Council of the BRICS Center, with the co-chair being Eleonora Fox, a professor from New York University and the co-director of the Center - professor from University College London - Ioanis Lianos.
At the end of the meeting, the parties discussed the joint work in the framework of UNCTAD, in particular the need to adopt a document on international cooperation of competition authorities in the development of the Toolkit at the Conference on the revision of the UN Set of Principles on Competition in 2020.
* The new Agreement is being developed in accordance with the decision of the Joint Communique on the results of the 23rd regular meeting of the Heads of governments of Russia and China and in order to further develop bilateral cooperation. The document does not cancel the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of China on cooperation in countering of unfair competition and antimonopoly policy of April 25, 1996.
** The Memorandum is not an international treaty and does not create any rights and obligations regulated by international law. A similar memorandum was signed with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) on a regular basis from 2001, for a period of two years.
Prior to the reorganization process and the merger of antimonopoly authorities of China in 2018, cooperation between the FAS Russia and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) was based on the two-year Memorandums signed as part of the implementation of the Russian-Chinese Joint Declaration on Cooperation of 1996.
*** Approved by the Executive Order of the President of the Russian Federation of December 21, 2017 No. 618 "On State Competition Policy Guidelines".