ASEAN Strengthened its Capacity in Negotiating Competition Chapter in FTA.
(Surabaya – 19 April 2018) International trading activity between countries and or regions is now escalating, most importantly through regional, multilateral, and or bilateral Free Trade Agreements. In the latest trend of second generation FTA, competition policy and law play significant part in affecting the outcome of such agreement and it is often the task of competition authority to negotiate the features in competition chapter, especially in regional FTA between ASEAN and its foreign partners.
In order to strengthen the capacity of competition authorities in negotiating competition chapter, KPPU and Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) convened a workshop on “Negotiating Competition Chapter in FTA” with the support of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). The workshop was held in Surabaya, from 18-19 April 2018, and was attended by 32 participants from ASEAN Member States.
This workshop was focus on several issues, such as; (i) evolution of economic cooperation and the value of competition chapter in international agreement, (ii) understanding competition related issues in agreements (including consumer protection, public enterprises and designated monopolies, subsidy, IPR, institutional provision) and its implication to competition chapter, (iii) understanding the goals, processes and rules of negotiating international agreements and what needed to prepare knowing competition chapter in your international agreement, (iv) skills and knowledge needed for international negotiations, with special emphasize on appropriate strategies and tactics and, (v) techniques for effective participation in and monitoring of the negotiation process. In addition, this workshop was also encouraging sharing of knowledge and experience among AMS, by providing opportunity to share their experiences in the topics.
In its concluding remark, Mr. Taufik Ariyanto, the Head of Legal, PR, and Cooperation Bureau of KPPU highlighted that this workshop will be a good start for competition authorities in ASEAN to be better prepared in facing their regional FTA negotiation. Mr. Hideyuki Shimozu, the Senior Planning Officer of JFTC also stated that negotiating competition chapter in FTA takes a lot of preparation and it is often difficult to agree on something, thus technical skill and knowledge is essential.
This workshop was presenting the academics on International Relations from University of Gadjah Mada Indonesia, country experiences from JFTC, KPPU, and Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority (VCCA), and also a group practice on negotiating competition chapter.