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Joint Site of Ministries of Foreign Affairs of BRICS Member States

Thursday, October 5, 2017

BRICS Steering Committee on Antimonopoly Policy Approved Creating Working Groups on IT and Automotive Markets

The 3rd session of BRICS Steering Committee on Antimonopoly Policy took place at an International Event – the “Competition Week in Russia”.

Representatives of FAS, competition bodies of Brazil, India, China and South Africa as well as the academic community discussed the efforts of the Working Groups on studying competition in the socially important sectors of BRICS economies and a further action plan.

Stats-Secretary, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsarikovskiy said, opening the event: “We have achieved big success in our work, developing our cooperation on various markets. We conduct joint surveys of the state of competition in the pharmaceuticals, food products markets, we start analyzing the situation with automotive markets in our countries. Thanks to exchanging experiences and knowledge, we are improving out works and law designed to protect the interests of all market participants and support healthy competition”.

Summing up the results of BRICS Working Group on global food products chains, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov pointed out that one of the main WG objectives is to devise joint, timely and constructive approaches to analyzing the relevant markets and economic concentration transactions on them. “For instance, FAS, investigating merger between “Bayer” and “Monsanto” drafted a document on approaches to analyzing food products markets and global food product chains. The draft is forwarded to BRICS competition authorities for familiarization, and we will be grateful for comments, proposals and additions”, saidAndrey Tsyganov. He mentioned that the agenda of “Competition Week in Russia” included a detailed discussion of the final draft report on the state of competition on the seeds market.

Reporting about the outcome of BRICS Working Group for studying competition on the pharmaceutical markets, Head of FAS Department for Social Sphere and Trade, Timophey Nizhegorodtsev said that the level of influence of BRICS economies upon the content and development of the international standards for regulating the pharmaceutical industry does not match the scope and a potential growth of the market of medicinal drugs in these countries. He concluded: “I am confident that BRUCS countries have things to offer in order to develop the international standards for regulating pharmaceutical markets. We should also approximate national regulations over the pharmaceutical sector to make it more transparent and competitive. We must work out unified standards and approaches to the issues of intellectual property, regulatory practices for registration and circulation of medicinal drugs in BRICS markets”. Such work may start with drafting a document on the basic principles of work on these areas for BRICS competition authorities and international pharmaceutical companies operating on the markets in these economies.

The Committee also discussed establishing BRICS Working Groups on studying competition in IT and the automotive markets.

“A Working Group on studying competition on the car markets in long overdue. We have had already several meetings with South African competition authority, where we exchange information that will be helpful in relevant investigations on the national markets”, specified Andrey Tsarikovskiy. The first session of the Working Group may take place at the III Research-to-Practice Conference on “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education” on 5-6 December 2017 in Moscow.

Stats-Secretary, Deputy Head of FAS emphasized: “As for the BRICS WG on information-and-communications technologies, we propose to work on an extended agenda, being able to discuss markets not only on the IT market but also the general situation in the digital economy”. The discussion on establishing the Group and its agenda will continue at BRICS Competition Conference in Brazil in November 2017.

The Steering Committee also considered a possibility to form BRICS Analytical Centre and discussed a draft Toolkit on international cooperation between competition authorities to counter restrictive business practices of transnational corporations and cross-border violations of the competition rules at regional events of BRICS competition bodies, for instance, African, Latin American Competition Forums. FAS carries out such discussions at the events on antimonopoly policy with the CIS member-states.

Summing up, Andrey Tsyganov invited representatives of BRICS competition authorities to take part in the events organized and supported by FAS as well as Research-to-Practice Conferences in Russia on competition policy. He expressed the readiness for continued productive fruitful collaboration between BRICS competition authorities.

“Already in November 2017 Brazil will host the next BRICS Competition Conference, where we will be able to discuss a lot of important issues. FAS intends to put forward a number of initiatives aimed at further intensifying cooperation between BRICS competition authorities, that should be online, in the real-time mode in spite of distances”, concludedAndrey Tsarikovskiy.

FAS was represented at the Committee by: Stats-Secretary, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsarikovskiy, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov, Head of the Department for International Economic Cooperation, Lesya Davydova, Head of the Department for Social Sphere and Trade, Timophey Nizhegorodtsev and others. The speaker from Brazil competition authority was a Commissioner, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE), Cristiane Alkmin Junqueira Schmidt. Other participants included: Commissioner, the Competition Commission of India, Shri Bunker; Deputy General Director, Anti-Monopoly and Unfair Competition Enforcement Bureau, State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the People’s Republic of China, San Lin; Deputy Commissioner, South African Competition Commission, Hardin Ratshisusu, and Yungama Njisane, Director, International Relations Department, Competition Commission, South Africa. The academic community was represented by Director, Institute of Law and Development, High School of Economics – Skolkovo, Alexei Ivanov.

Source: Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation