ASEAN Strengthened its Capacity in Negotiating Competition Chapter in FTA
Surabaya, 19 April 2018 – To strengthen the capacity of competition officials in negotiating the competition chapter, the Indonesian Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU), the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat and the University of Gadjah Mada Indonesia, held a Workshop on “Negotiating Competition Chapter in FTA” from 18-19 April 2018. The Workshop which was attended by 32 participants from the ASEAN Member States is part of the overarching project entitled ‘Technical Assistance for ASEAN Competition Authorities to Strengthen Competition Law Enforcement in ASEAN Region’ with the support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).
International trade activities between countries and/or regions have been intensified through multilateral, regional, and bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). In the latest trend of second generation FTAs, competition policy and law plays a significant part in affecting the outcomes of such agreements. It is often the task of the competition authority to negotiate the competition chapter under this agreement, especially in regional FTAs between ASEAN and its foreign partners.
The Workshop focuses on several issues, including; (i) the evolution of economic cooperation and the value of competition chapter in international agreements, (ii) competition related issues in agreements (including consumer protection, public enterprises and designated monopolies, subsidy, IPR, institutional provision) and its implication to the competition chapter, (iii) the goals, processes and rules of negotiating international agreements, (iv) skills, strategies and tactics for international negotiations, and (v) techniques for effective participation in and monitoring of the negotiation process. In addition, the Workshop provided the opportunity to exchange of knowledge and experience amongst AMS through an FTA negotiation simulation session.
In its concluding remark, Mr. Taufik Ariyanto, the Head of the Legal, PR, and Cooperation Bureau of the KPPU highlighted that this workshop will be a good start for competition authorities in ASEAN to be better prepared to face regional FTA negotiations. Mr. Hideyuki Shimozu, the Senior Planning Officer of the JFTC also stated the stage in preparing the negotiation of the competition chapter is the most essential stage that determines the success of the negotiation and implementation of the FTA.