Project Title

Promoting Competition International Best Practices to Implement ANSSR Goals 

Project Year

2015   

Project Number

CPLG 01 2015A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

CPLG 01 2015A 

Project Title

Promoting Competition International Best Practices to Implement ANSSR Goals 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: APEC's New Strategy on Structural Reform (ANSSR) 

Project Year

2015 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

152,092 

Co-funding Amount

106,413 

Total Project Value

258,505 

Sponsoring Forum

Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG) 

Topics

Competition Policy; Deregulation 

Committee

Economic Committee (EC) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Mexico; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/01/2016 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2016 

Project Proponent Name 1

Timothy T Hughes 

Job Title 1

Counsel for SE Asia and Middle East, Office of International Affairs 

Organization 1

US Federal Trade Commission 

Postal Address 1

600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20580, USA 

Telephone 1

1-202 3263503 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

THughes@ftc.gov 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Timothy T Hughes 

Project Summary

In line with ANSSR goals, this project aims to promote growth in APEC developing economies by promoting convergence around internationally-recognized sound and effective competition policies and practices (“Competition Best Practice”).  We propose holding workshops aimed at fostering understanding and practical application of Competition Best Practice.  Each year, for three years, APEC members will choose to focus a series of three workshops on core issues addressed by Competition Best Practice (from among mergers, unilateral conduct, anti-competitive agreements, and advocacy).  The first workshop will include self-assessments against the relevant Competition Best Practice, and will be held in the APEC economy hosting the SOM.  The two follow-up workshops (one on each side of the Pacific) will consist of interactive exercises aimed at building the capacity of APEC member competition authority staff and decision makers to better understand and conform to the relevant Competition Best Practice.  If funding is obtained through APEC in future years, this process would be repeated in 2017 and 2018 focusing on different Competition Best Practices.

Relevance

Relevance – Benefits to region: Competition law and policy is one of the five priority work streams in the APEC Leaders’ Agenda to Implement Structural Reform 2010 (LAISR).  Recognizing its importance, in 2011, APEC Leaders committed to implement the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR) plans by 2015 to reduce behind-the-border barriers and promote balanced, inclusive, and sustainable growth.  Competition law and policy are key elements of the ANSSR’s pillar dedicated to promoting more open, well-functioning, transparent and competitive markets in the region, and a significant number of developing APEC economies (e.g., Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, and Papua New Guinea) have specifically singled out the importance of effective competition policies in their individual ANSSR plans.  Promoting convergence toward internationally-recognized Competition Best Practice within APEC economies is critically important to meeting ANSSR goals, and the time has never been better to focus a project on such implementation.  In recent years, several APEC economies have adopted initial competition laws (e.g., Malaysia 2010, Hong Kong 2012), have made or are considering significant changes to the laws or implementing regulations (e.g., Mexico 2014, Indonesia 2010 and Vietnam), or are on the verge of passing comprehensive laws (e.g., Philippines). 

The proposed project presents an opportunity to provide technical training and support to developing APEC Member economies looking to meet ANSSR goals and strengthen their competition policies and enforcement programs.  Convergence by APEC members around sound and effective competition policies benefits domestic and regional businesses and consumers alike.  Effective competition laws encourage structural reforms that reduce barriers to entry and promote the development of local businesses.  The application of consistent competition law regimes will also support regional and international development for larger local firms.  Moreover, the project’s emphasis across the APEC region will increase the region’s attractiveness to investors by promoting greater consistency within the regional regulatory environment and helping to reduce the costs created by conflicting competition policies and procedures. 

Relevance – Rank: This project is squarely within Rank 1 of the APEC Funding Criteria.   Effectively enforced competition laws encourage behind-the-border structural reforms that reduce the barriers for SMEs to develop and enter new markets, while supporting multilateral trading for larger firms.  The proposed project contemplates cross-border capacity building, based on a multi-year educational and training program that relies on simulated practice founded on international best practice, notably the recommendations and guidance developed in the two leading multilateral competition organizations, International Competition Network (ICN) and OECD.

Objectives

The key objectives of this project are: (1) to increase a common understanding of the aim of competition laws and how they support open, competitive markets; (2) to provide support to developing APEC economies that are currently contemplating adopting, drafting or amending competition laws or regulations to conform with internationally-accepted best practice and guidance and to discuss how these approaches have been applied in other jurisdictions so that APEC members can make informed choices among approaches when developing domestic reforms; (3) to facilitate cross-border trade and investment by aligning standards and promoting common approaches to mergers/acquisitions, agreements among competitors, and conduct by dominant firms, including conduct affecting distribution and retailing.

Alignment

Competition policy is an important action of the Osaka Action Agenda (adopted in 1995, amended in 2002) and, as noted above, is one of the five priority areas for structural policy reform of LAISR.  The adoption of sound competition policies, laws and rules coupled with the effective implementation and enforcement helps to realize these APEC objectives while promoting free market competition to achieve the Bogor Goals as well as more open, well-functioning, transparent and competitive markets, one of ANSSR’s five priority areas.  In 2011, APEC Ministers and Leaders endorsed the ANSSR plans.  The Economic Committee (EC) considers competition policy and law one of the key cross-cutting means by which to promote more open, well-functioning, transparent and competitive markets. As this is focused on convergence of competition policy across the region, it is at the core of the CPLG’s work.  This project will help to strengthen the capacity of the APEC economies, in particular developing member economies, to implement their ANSSR plans in the area of competition policy.  The workshops will help staff, agency officials and other decision-makers to translate these internationally-recognized approaches into action.  Moreover, the contemplated self-assessment of member economies’ policies and practices in relation to international Competition Best Practice will allow member economies to push forward their structural reform agendas. 

TILF/ASF Justification

Competition law enforcement institutions are among the indirect factors that give government policy makers the comfort to move forward to more market oriented economies, believing that a law and institution exist to prevent unregulated private enterprises from abusing their power and other market force imperfections from harming consumers.  They are part of the package that supports competition policies to transition to a market economy and prevents intentional and unintentional back-sliding.  Studies have demonstrated that when competition law enforcement regimes operate independently and implement laws in accordance with international best practices standards, they support competition and the economic growth and development that competition promotes.  In many of the developing economies of APEC, including Indonesia, Peru, Philippines, and Vietnam, the introduction of competition laws and the creation of agencies coincides with other policy reforms that include introducing competition into economies or sectors of the economy that had previously been subject to extensive government intervention, regulation or planning.  The proposed project comes at a time when agencies are just beginning to draft competition laws and regulations, or make amendments to their laws that require familiarity with international best practices.In order to insure that this project has the greatest impact on those jurisdictions of APEC which are developing economies, all three programs will be held in a developing economy jurisdiction.  This will make it possible for greater numbers of their staff to attend programs at no cost and benefit from the training.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Output: Prior to the CPLG meeting at the annual SOM1, FTC/DOJ will survey CPLG members to determine which of the areas (mergers, anticompetitive agreements, unilateral conduct, advocacy, procedural fairness) on which they would like to focus the capacity building.  CPLG members will be invited to participate in a two-day workshop (Workshop 1) on the margins of the SOM1 (CPLG meets only once a year during SOM1), during which the participants will be introduced to the relevant Best Practices and Guidance and compare their competition laws, policies and practices to them.  The ICN and the OECD have adopted recommendations and practical guidance covering the three major legs of competition law enforcement: mergers, anticompetitive agreements, and unilateral conduct, and both have developed similar tools in the area of competition agency advocacy.  These organizations also have adopted international best practice and guidance in supporting areas, specifically regarding investigative process and cooperation. See, http://www.internationalcompetitionnetwork.org/about/icnguidance.aspx; and, http://www.oecd.org/competition/cartels/

Participating economies will be encouraged to make a brief presentation comparing the provisions of their jurisdiction’s law, regulations and procedures and actual practices with those recommended best practice or guidelines on which the survey results indicate that participants want to focus. This core issue will be the topic for two workshops during the year.  The other two workshops (Workshops 2 & 3) (one on each side of the Pacific) will consist of hands-on, interactive exercises aimed at building the capacity of APEC member competition authority staff and decision makers to better understand and conform to the relevant Competition Best Practice or Guidance. 

Outcomes: Much effort has gone into developing the consensus principles incorporated in the OECD's ICN's Recommended Practices and Guidance.  This project's medium term goal is the implementation of those consensus principles.  To reach that goal requires an understanding and    analysis of the consensus principles and the skills needed to apply.   The principles themselves are broad      enough that uniformity is not expected.  However, it is the anticipated that the assessments of the extent  to which agencies are implementing these principles and a better understanding of what they mean when applied in practical hands-on exercises will lead to some movement and changes in agency practices.

Beneficiaries:  These workshops are aimed specifically at the staff and decision-makers of the competition authorities of the APEC member economies. While many of them are aware of Competition Best Practices, they often do not have the resources or knowledge-base to compare their laws and enforcement policies to them, or to familiarize themselves with the jurisprudential and economic thinking behind them.  Knowledgeable staff from all APEC competition authorities or other entities with intimate   knowledge of actual or draft competition laws and regulations will be invited to present self-assessments in-person, which will then be subject to discussion.  The two follow-up workshops will cover relevant Competition Best Practice materials through a series of interactive discussions and exercises. Each will have a maximum of 33 trainees from travel eligible economies and 3 trainers from the international community, focusing on other APEC economies in order to insure opportunity for active participation. The two follow-up workshops each will cover the same materials. Having different venues in which to cover the same subject matter will help to reach a greater number of competition authority staff from more APEC economies and promote consistent competition regimes and enforcement. Whenever possible, the follow-up workshops will take place in economies with developing economies.

Convergence is a way of fostering a business-enabling environment needed for economic growth.  The business community has noted the potential for competition legislation both to improve the business climate and to misdirect enforcement and degrade the climate.  Convergent and transparent competition laws and application support the commercial objectives of predictable and sound enforcement by reducing risks, facilitating planning, and avoiding undue burdens and delays for cross-border transactions and business conduct.  Application of rules based on sound economics also prevents discriminatory application and spurs greater domestic entrepreneurship and willingness to permit foreign companies access to business opportunities that can benefit the domestic economy.

Dissemination

The target audience will include staff of the competition authorities of CPLG member jurisdictions;government officials in charge of competition policy.

The form and content of the result of the project will contain lecture notes and seminar materials. A limited number of hard copies (approx. 50) will be made available in conjunction with uploading the materials to the APEC website. Since the techniques and expertise which are shared in these Workshops will involve those of enforcement and investigation techniques, the output might be confined to competition authorities of member economies and would not be available for sale to the public.

Gender

The seminar will be open to both men and women. Invitations will be circulated to all APEC member economies.  The percentage of women participants in the previous CPLG events were about 50%. Many of the economies in the CPLG have women as their competition policy officials, and women will contribute more in the development of competition policy.  Women speakers/lecturers/experts from member economies will be encouraged. 

The medium term goals of this project will promote more competitive sectors and industries and openings for new entrants.  In some member economies incumbent firms in these sectors have been historically male dominated The greater opportunity for new entry into these market should also provide openings for diversity among firm ownership and management.

Work Plan

Working with additional expert training partners, including from among experienced APEC economy competition authorities, the FTC/DOJ will develop the training program and exercises, prepare and circulate proposed agenda and conduct the workshops.  FTC/DOJ also will provide logistical support, including: locating venues from among APEC economies on each side of the Pacific willing to host the follow-up workshops; (b) coordinating the registration, travel, and conference space logistics; and (c) developing, collecting and assessing workshop evaluations.    At the end of calendar 2015, a questionnaire/survey will be taken of the CPLG members to determine which of the ICN/OECD Best Practices or Guidelines the members would like to explore in greater depth.  Back-to-back with SOM1 at the end of February 2016, a two day workshop (Workshop 1) will be held in Lima, Peru which will operate as a review of current approaches that CPLG members have to the practice in question. Each member will be asked to present a comparison of his/her jurisdiction’s approach and the recommended best practice or guideline.  A panel of two other members will be designated to familiarize themselves beforehand with the jurisdiction’s practices and be prepared to engage actively in a panel discussing those practices at Workshop 1.  The U.S., with the host jurisdiction, Peru, will organize the seminar.  The U.S., with Peru, or the U.S.’ cosponsors, Mexico, Vietnam and Australia, will chair Workshop 1.  Based on what emerges during Workshop 1 as problematic practices or issues needing attention in order to promote convergence, an agenda and experts will be selected for Workshops 2 and 3.  Workshops 2 and 3 will feature interactive sessions using a sample investigative timeline to frame the discussion. At various stages during the sample timeline, the discussion will emphasize the practices that promote convergence to the international best practice or guideline.  Workshops 2 and 3 shall be identical except for the participants and the venue.  In order to promote convergence among all APEC members on both sides of the Pacific, the same agenda will be used.  This will also insure the greatest participation.

Breakout sessions will be used in this seminar to ensure a full participation in interactive discussions for all participants thereby maximizing the result of this project. The project will finance up to two active participants to travel from each eligible APEC developing member economies, including Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Peru, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. Other developed member economies are expected to actively participate as attendees and/or experts, speakers, or lecturers at the seminar. 

The project work plan will include the following steps: 

Time

Activities

Outputs

Step 1: Survey

December 2015

-  U.S Draft survey

-  Email survey to all CPLG members

-  Receive, and collate survey results

-  Email survey results to CPLG members

- Survey results

Step 2: Workshop 1

Early January 2016

- confirmation of venue and logistical arrangements for Workshop 1

- designation of session chairs, assignment of reviewing panelists, draft of hour-by-hour agenda

-  send official invitations with general information related to the workshop

-  decision on Workshop 1  agenda and venue

January 2016

-  each member drafts presentation

-  hold Workshop 1

-  conduct a satisfaction survey

-  presentations

Step 3: Workshops 2 & 3

May and October 2016

-  hold Workshop 2 & 3

-  conducting the satisfaction survey

-  publishing information about the seminar in the relevant media

-  36 participants expected

- presentations

-
review  the satisfaction survey

Risks

Implementation of the Recommended Practices and Guides, in the end, depends on the will of those with political power.  Because these benefits are often realized only in the long-term, there is a risk that short-term benefits will carry the day.  One of the goals of this project is to equip the competition authorities of the member economies with an understanding of the many long-term benefits to the member jurisdictions that will arise from convergence. 

At a very practical level, based on previous history, some jurisdictions will not attend SOM 1 in Lima and Workshop 1 to be held back-to-back with it or that they will send inappropriate participants.  In the past, delegates who attend CPLG at SOM1 are not all from the competition authorities of their respective jurisdictions.  A special effort will be needed to encourage the competition authorities to send key players in their agencies to the CPLG SOM1 meeting in Lima. Because APEC will not be covering travel costs for this SOM1 and Workshop 1 which will take place back to back to SOM1, it will not be able to exercise great control over who participates in Workshop 1.  For Workshops 2 & 3, APEC will provide travel costs to travel eligible jurisdictions.  Therefore, it must be made clear that the training program is targeted at officers involved in setting policy or conducting investigations in the competition related agencies. To make sure that APEC funded travel is used for appropriate officials,  agencies will be required to send a description of work duties of the participants that they nominate to the Secretariat to ensure screening and suitability of the candidates for the program.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Following the Workshops, and based on completed Workshop evaluations, a report on the outcome of program will be publicized during a CPLG meeting and uploaded to the APEC webpage.  Organizers will ask the Convenor of the CPLG meeting in 2017 to collect anecdotal evidence of longer-term indicators of success, including amendments to competition laws and regulations and investigative practices and priorities that more closely align with the Competition Best Practices examined.  Whereas it would be unrealistic to expect significant legislative change within one year, it would be reasonable to expect some changes, notably to agency practices and procedures, to have taken place within that timeframe.  The FTC/DOJ will work with other experts to document this change.  At the project’s conclusion, member economies will be asked to report on any policy review and changes that have taken place in their competition authorities as a result of greater familiarity with Competition Best Practice.  There has always been a good distribution of both men and women at CPLG and other training events in the regions.  However, the PO will monitor attendance, and if the distribution appears to be skewed, it will be brought to the attention of the agency sending participants.  Because this project is aimed most directly at the developing economies of APEC, it will be considered an indication of success if more than two-thirds of the eligible member jurisdictions participate over the course of the year.

Linkages

This project relies on work completed within two expert multilateral fora, the ICN and the OECD, and will help to disseminate and promote greater understanding and implementation of key output of these organizations within APEC.   Within APEC, CPLG is the sub-fora of EC with responsibility for implementing ANSSR plan in the area of competition policy.  Many of the sub-fora within CTI also will benefit from the training of competition law enforcement authorities, as these authorities can prove to be important advocates for increasing competition in the market sectors addressed within the CTI, e.g., promoting competition in the transportation sector.  This project will build APEC member economies’ capacity in the area of competition policy and law, and contribute to the effective implementation of APEC ANSSR plan in order to reduce behind-the-border barriers and promote balanced, inclusive, and sustainable growth. Ultimately, it can promote the achievement of the Bogor goal of free and open trade and investment in APEC region.

Sustainability

Competition authority staff that participate in this project will become much more familiar with OECD and ICN Recommended Practices and guidelines and of the practical ways in which they are implemented.  Provided that there is no great personnel turnover in the agency, they will carry this knowledge with them.  If the individual representatives of the economies believe that more intensive training on a bilateral basis would be helpful for them in implementing what they carry back to their agencies, the FTC will, to the extent that its limited budget permits, continue to provide bilateral and regional training as it has in the past for the developing and emerging economies that participate.

Project Overseers

Tim Hughes has been an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission for 30 years.  For most of his career at the FTC he investigated and brought enforcement actions against those violating the federal competition and consumer protection laws.  During the past 13 years he has worked in the international competition area and currently serves as Coordinator for the FTC International Technical Assistance Program.  He has lived for extended periods in Romania, Indonesia, Vietnam and Colombia as an advisor to competition authorities.  He has participated as a teacher-panelist in the OECD’s and UNCTAD’s training seminars in Eastern Europe, Korea and Latin America, and has conducted short-term training missions for the staff of over 25 competition authorities and USAID-BizCLIR Assessments in Bulgaria, Ethiopia and Myanmar. He has drafted training materials used by FTC attorneys in their technical assistance programs, and has himself conducted short-term training missions in SE Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and SE Asia.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, New York, and his degree in law, Juris Doctor, in 1976 from Northwestern University, Chicago.

Melanie Krebs-Pilotti is international counsel with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).  She clerked for one year at a federal court of appeals in Washington, DC before joining the DOJ in 2006.  She worked for six years as a staff attorney in the Antitrust Division’s Transportation, Energy, and Agriculture Section, where she focused on civil antitrust enforcement and competition policy.  She joined the Foreign Commerce Section in 2012, where she is responsible for the development and implementation of Division policy on issues of international antitrust enforcement.   She received her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, and her degree in law, Juris Doctor, in 2005 from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Cost Efficiency

Workshop 1 will take place back-to-back with SOM1 so that APEC will have to cover only two days of per diem and no airfare.  The Overseer and Experts from the US FTC and DOJ will provide administrative labor and travel at no cost to APEC, except for one expert to Workshop III in Asia (likely Vietnam). In order to maximize cross-border fertilization of ideas, representatives from all travel eligible economies will receive full travel support (per diem and airfare) for a combined total of 3 persons to Workshops 2 and 3.  To balance the desirability of having all travel eligible jurisdictions participate with the higher costs of trans-Pacific flights, only one representative from each travel-eligible jurisdiction will receive per diem and airfare to cross the Pacific (e.g., Philippines will receive travel costs for 1 person to Workshop 2 in Mexico City, and for 2 persons to Workshop 3 in Hanoi.)  The majority of APEC funds will be used to support travel-eligible economies to participate in the workshops.   The outcomes of this seminar will be mostly disseminated in soft copy and uploaded to the APEC website with only a limited number of hard copies.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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