Project Title

Information Sharing Best Practices Workshop on Merger Control Regimes used by APEC Economies 

Project Year

2017   

Project Number

EC 06 2017A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

EC 06 2017A 

Project Title

Information Sharing Best Practices Workshop on Merger Control Regimes used by APEC Economies 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Renewed APEC Agenda on Structural Reform (RAASR) 

Project Year

2017 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

139,495 

Co-funding Amount

3,976 

Total Project Value

143,471 

Sponsoring Forum

Economic Committee (EC) 

Topics

Structural Reform 

Committee

Economic Committee (EC) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Papua New Guinea 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Peru; Philippines; Chinese Taipei; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/10/2017 

Expected Completion Date

31/08/2018 

Project Proponent Name 1

Ninisahafo Neheja 

Job Title 1

Senior Analyst 

Organization 1

Independent consumer and Competition Commission  (ICCC) of Papua New Guinea 

Postal Address 1

PO Box 6394, Boroko National Capital District, Papua New Guinea 

Telephone 1

675-3252144 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

nneheja@iccc.gov.pg 

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

Not Applicable 

Project Summary

A merger control regime (MCR) is used to monitor and assess mergers/acquisitions for anti-competitive effects.

An MCR is a key tool for competition agencies to effectively detect or control potentially anti-competitive mergers/acquisitions that can prove harmful for an economy. An effective MCR keeps markets competitive and facilitates: economic growth; investment; and trade.

From this workshop, we aim to discuss MCR’s that have worked for certain economies within APEC and share best practices to help APEC economies strengthen or develop MCR’s in their economies. This will help economies, particularly APEC developing economies formulate an MCR that is conducive for their economy. The workshop will call for expert speakers from international organizations, academia, policy practitioners, regulatory and competition agencies from throughout the APEC region.

It is intended for the Workshop to be held in Papua New Guinea from 2nd – 3rd February, 2018 within the margins of SOM 1.

Relevance

Competition can generate benefits for an economy, such as; economic growth, innovation; productivity; and increased consumer choice for goods & services, which lead to eventual price reductions. An economy should aim to achieve and maintain these benefits and an effective Merger Control Regime (MCR) can prove to be an important tool to do this. An effective MCR helps to prevent anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions and mergers and acquisitions that substantially lessen competition, or monopolize certain markets.

This workshop seeks to help APEC developing economies gain a better understanding of MCR’s and how they can assist in effective competition law enforcement. The aim of this workshop is to collectively share information, ideas and good practices from APEC economies for a better understanding of MCR’s, and aid developing economies with new competition agencies formulate an MCR which is most suitable for their economy. It would also offer an opportunity for developing economies with existing MCR’s to review their MCR and make changes where necessary, in light of other economies’ experiences and international best practices. It is also noted that there are a number of APEC economies with new competition authorities, such as Philippines, such a workshop would assist officers from these new competition agencies to better understand these issues and ensure that they are better prepared to prevent anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions. Officers participating would also benefit from a report that will be circulated outlining some best practices which they can take some guidance from. 

As parts of the APEC region are currently experiencing periods of low growth, projects which can generate competition and spur economic growth are becoming vitally important to the APEC region. The work that competition agencies do in working together to understanding efficient and new methods to enforce competition law is important in promoting competition in the region, which will promote efficient markets and drive productivity in the region. APEC has the advantage of creating that environment for information sharing, where several mature competition authorities are able to share knowledge and skills with members that are relatively new and need further domestic capacity building.  The multi-jurisdictional nature of APEC also lends itself to addressing the pressing MCR issues of cross-border cooperation and harmonization of what degree of contacts are sufficient to warrant review and the timing of multi-jurisdictional review and information sharing. 

This Project falls under Rank 1 of the APEC funding Criteria for the year 2017, which gives priority to the implementation of structural reforms, especially in promoting an open and competitive market environment under the RAASR 2016 – 2020 initiative.

Objectives

Objectives of this project would be to build the capacity of officers: 

1) from competition agencies in the APEC region through discussions and presentations by APEC experts about the policy considerations that are made when considering the type of MCR (either voluntary or mandatory) they would like to implement; and

2) so that they are able to make the necessary procedural changes to properly enforce their MCR to make sure procedures effective and efficient.

Alignment

The relevance of this project is to encourage structural reforms that can promote competition in the economy under the work of EC and CPLG. This project can help promote competition through structural reforms that competition agencies may wish to make, which can have wider benefits on an economy. As barriers to entry into markets are reduced, there will be increased investment; trade-flows and economic growth. It is also consistent with the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reforms (RAASR) 2016 - 2020, and will contribute to achieving Pillar 1 & 2 of RAASR. RAASR pillar 1 encourages more open, well-functioning, transparent and competitive markets whilst pillar 2 talks about deeper participation in those market by segments of society, including MSME’s, women, youth, older workers, and people with disabilities.

This project encourages the prevention of anti-competitive mergers and the maintainance or creation of markets in which competition can grow in line with the above RAASR pillars. As competition is fostered and barriers to entry are reduced, members of society which are at times left out of growth and development can be captured in a nations’ growth. Thus ties into pillar 2 of RAASR.

PNG has also listed this project under its RAASR IAP, as one of the deliverables it wishes to implement between 2016 – 2020 to achieve RAASR goals and outcomes. This project would be covered under PNG’s RAASR IAP, Priority 1. 

This project is also in line with APEC’s Competition Policy 2014 Collective Action Plan - (f) Contribute to the use of trade and competition laws, policies and measures that promote free and open trade, investment and competition.

TILF/ASF Justification

The principal outputs of the project will be:  a capacity-building workshop in 2018 involving participants from APEC travel eligible economies and domestic participants from Papua New Guinea; and a Best Practice Report for MCR’s.  These outputs will support the capacity building needs of enforcement and policy officers in developing APEC economies through the sharing of best practices on the enforcement of MCR’s and policy considerations taken into deciding on an MCR.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: Outputs that will transpire from this project will be a 2 day capacity building workshop to be held from the 2nd – 3rd February, 2018 in the margins of SOM 1. Participants from travel and non-travel eligible APEC economies will be invited to attend the workshop, especially economies with new competition authorities. Experts will be invited from the US, Europe, Australia and Korea to deliver presentations and answer queries participants may have with regards to workshop topics. Economies like the US and Europe have been chosen to draw experts from as they have mature competition agencies and would have expertise for the implementation of a ‘mandatory’ MCR. For Europe, we intend to invite a speaker from the OECD,(their Europe office) drawing from competition workshops held during competition week, in SOM 1, Vietnam, where speakers from the OECD were invited who offered an in-depth perspective on competition. Australia also has a mature competition agency and has expertise in competition law, especially with regards to implementing a ‘voluntary’ MCR and so their experts will bring balance to the discussions. We have chosen experts from Korea as we would like experts from an economy in Asia who would offer a different perspective with regards to policy considerations to be made when deciding on an MCR and enforcement practices for the implementation of an MCR. The agenda of the workshop will be structured in such a way as that we will first consider the policy considerations that are made when deciding between a mandatory or voluntary MCR. Then we will look at the enforcement of the MCR and what processes and mechanisms have worked for various economies. This will enable us to consider MCR’s in a holistic approach, whilst giving ample time for questions and answers. Experts will be informed of the structure in the agenda and experts will contribute in shaping the agenda going forward. 

Experts will deliver presentations on the types of merger control regimes that are prevalent in an economy. Participants will then be given the opportunity to ask questions on topics that experts have presented on. Participants will also be asked to present on MCR’s they have in their economy. Certain success stories for enforcement, challenges they have faced and what adjustments they have made to deal with those challenges. Did they make procedural changes for enforcement of their MCR or did they change their MCR altogether.

A report is then to be produced which compiles presentations and discussions on best practices for merger control regimes from the workshop for participants to learn from. The report will discuss the types of MCR’s employed by APEC member economies, policy considerations made when deciding on the type of MCR to employ and enforcement. Participants can use this as a guide to look back on for future references when dealing with challenges in implementing their MCR. The report will draw also from a questionnaire that was circulated in 2015 when PNG chaired the FotC on Competition Policy within EC. In that questionnaire, MCR’s used by APEC member economies were discussed and answers were received and compiled.

A post-workshop survey will also be delivered to participants to gain there view on how effective they thought the workshop was in delivering proposed outcomes. Did we secure the right experts? Was there a conducive environment for proper discussions to be made? And were the messages or learning content delivered clearly? Feedback received from this questionnaire will assist to improve on workshops to be held in the future.        

Outcomes: Changes that the work-shop and report are expected to achieve would be more procedural and behavioral changes to participants in the workshop. Participants should have a better appreciation of MCR’s, especially the type of MCR they have in their economy, the policy considerations taken into account when deciding your MCR, either mandatory or voluntary regime and the challenges in enforcement. Participants should learn as they listen to experts and other participants talk about MCR’s, challenges to enforcement and how these challenges were over-come.

Participants, from what they have learnt from the workshop and report, can make certain procedural and behavioral adjustments, especially towards how they approach the implementation of their particular MCR. Whether it be the timing for making assessments, streamlined considerations towards competition assessment to ensure processes are efficient and decisions are made on time. Experts will come from economies in Europe, US and Korea, who have enforced competition laws in their economies for many decades and will share their experiences on the challenges they have had in enforcing their respective MCR and offer some guidance to participants as to how they could address enforcement challenges in their respective economies. Participants will come from economies like the Philippines and Thailand who have recently enacted their competition laws and formed their competition agency and could benefit from presentations and discussions with the experts. 

Should participants consider that their particular MCR is ineffective and wish to make wholesale changes to the type of MCR they have, then they will benefit from this workshop as they will be able to pose questions to the experts and they can be given the guidance they need as to what to expect when making these changes.

Beneficiaries: Direct project participants will be officers from competition authorities responsible for the enforcement of competition law in the particular APEC economy. They will participate in the workshop and participate in discussions with other competition officers from APEC economies and listen to presentations from experts during the workshop. We are encouraging officers from competition authorities to participate as they are usually the officers who will be responsible for the enforcement of the MCR in their respective economies and so would be the officers most able to translate knowledge learnt into practical use once back in their workplaces. Should officers from competition authorities be unavailable then officers from the respective policy agency responsible for competition policy in the respective APEC economy should benefit from the workshop and report.

Also domestic participants from Papua New Guinea’s competition authority will also benefit from this workshop. The workshop will be held in Port Moresby, so we will have officers who come from the Competitive Markets and Fair Trade Division, the Division within PNG’s competition agency responsible for the enforcement of MCR’s in Papua New Guinea to attend the workshop. Lawyers also from the competition agency will also attend. Papua New Guinea is undertaking reforms to move from a voluntary MCR to a mandatory regime. So domestic officers will benefit from the Workshop by learning from experiences shared by experts and participants.

Dissemination

A report on MCR best practices will be made available to all APEC economies in electronic copies following the workshop. The report will also contain primarily, presentations made by experts and summaries of discussions on best practices from the workshop. The primary target audience for the report would be the 21 APEC economies government officials from competition agencies. 

The private sector and academia will also receive e-copies of the report. Copies of the report will also be sent to ABAC representatives for them to circulate to the private sector. We can also circulate to think tanks like the OECD and ADB, especially their south-east Asia offices, for dissemination to their members. The report will also be published on the APEC PubsDB for wider dissemination to APEC members.

Gender

To ensure there is equal gender participation, APEC travel eligible economies will be encouraged to send in one man and one woman as the two participants for the workshop. With domestic participants women will also be encouraged to attend the workshop. The legal services unit within the ICCC (PNG’s competition agency), currently has an ‘all female’ staff and their unit will be invited to attend. The PO will also consult with our female lawyers in the legal services unit and utilize their expertise to shape the agenda for the workshop going forward. So we expect a good turnout for local women participation. Also we will aim to invite women experts to present at the workshop. We will invite female experts from economies mentioned above; like the US Europe, Australia and Korea.   

Projects that encourage the effective regulation of markets to ensure that markets are not monopolized by few entities will encourage market entry and participation from businesses. This assists businesses like women SME’s to be given an opportunity to participate in economic activity, to start their businesses and enter into markets. Promoting effective MCR’s helps foster a competitive environment and reduce barriers to entry, so that SME’s like those owned by women are not discouraged from entering into the market due to anti-competitive practices by a monopoly, like price fixing, exclusive dealing and predatory pricing.

Work Plan

Below we have a tentative timetable for the implementation of the project. In paragraphs below the table we will seek to explain some of the key deliverables we have during our tentative timetable. 

Date

Activities

Deliverables

October  2017

- Draft program and develop agenda

- Seeking nomination of speakers/participants

Program agenda and topics

November 2017

- Send invitation letters

- Venue booking (logistics and documentation)

Draft invitation and admin circular

Dec  2017- Jan 2018

-   Follow up on participants and speakers

-   Selection of Contractor for Best Practices Report

Workshop materials

February 2018

-   Two (2) day Workshop in Papua New Guinea (SOM 1)

Host Workshop

May 2018

-   Circulation of best practices report

Draft report

June, 2018

-   Final report to be circulated

Final Report

August 2018

-   Submission of Project Report to Economic Committee and PMU (SOM 3)

Feedback forms and activity report

During the month of October, 2017 the PO will draft a program agenda and hone down specific topics that we will discuss in our Workshop. Whilst drafting the program agenda experts will be sought for the workshop. Experts will also be consulted on the program agenda to ensure that the agenda adequately covers topics and is structured in a way that is needed to deliver on the outcomes for the workshop. The agenda should be constructed in such a way to facilitate discussions between participants and experts to gain most from the learning process. The agenda will also ensure that presentation times are drawn out so that participants do not become dis-engaged with the discussions or topics/ideas being presented.

In the month of November, 2017 we aim to complete the agenda and admin circular. Experts to be confirmed and documentation or payments that need to be made to guarantee their attendance to the Workshop should be completed during this month. We then will book the venue to host the workshop here in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. After the agenda has been completed and the venue has been booked we will write to participants inviting them to attend the Workshop.

Form the months of December, 2017 – January, 2018 we will follow up on invitations to participants for workshop attendance. We will aim to get confirmations on the participants that will be attending the workshop and should certain participants from economies not be able to attend or if there is sufficient funding left over, then more participants from interested APEC economies, or those economies with new competition agencies will be invited to send in more than 2 participants. Experts will also be finalized during this period of time and whatever ever payments or documentation to be concluded during this period of time. A contractor who will be responsible for compiling the best practices report will also be secured during this period of time.

From the 2nd – 3rd February, 2018 a capacity building workshop will be hosted at the Ela Beach Hotel, in Port Moresby. Workshop will bring together invited participants and contracted experts for presentations and discussions throughout the 2 days. Domestic participants from Papua New Guineas competition agency will also attend the workshop. 2 members of the Competitive Markets and Fair Trade Division of the ICCC (the organization were the PO is from) will be tasked with note taking during the 2 day workshop. Information from the presentations and discussions will be gathered so that it can be compiled and handed to our contractor to produce the best practices report.

May, 2018
a draft for the best practices report should be circulated to participants and EC members for their comments and inputs. By June, 2018 a final report should be produced and published.
 

Following the workshop in February, 2018 a project report will be compiled and submitted to the Economic Committee in SOM 3, August, 2018.

Risks

1) Risks that could impact the project implementation would be with the attendance of experts and participants from APEC travel eligible economies. Some experts and participants may have to take long connecting flights into Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. There are chances that flights could be delayed and connecting flights could be missed, hence participants and experts can miss certain parts of the workshop, or even miss the workshop altogether. 

2) There is also the risk of a lack of interest by experts and participants for the workshop. And there not being wide spread participation by representatives from APEC economies and hence this could impact on the scope of the best practices report. 

3) Although these risks are at times out of the control of the PO, we will do our best to mitigate these risks and have contingency plans where necessary. To mitigate the risks of flight delay and participants or experts missing the workshop, they will be asked  to travel into Port Moresby one day before the workshop. Advice on connecting flights into Port Moresby will be given to participants and experts to ensure that all necessary travel arrangements are made. Should experts be unable to attend due to various reasons like a flight delay, then a webinar presentation will be organized for participants in the workshop from the particular expert.

4) To address the risk of their being a lack of broad attendance by officers from the APEC member economies, we have chosen to host this workshop in the margins of SOM 1 on the 2nd – 3rd February, 2018 prior to the CPLG meeting. Competition enforcement and policy officers from travel eligible APEC economies will also be attending the CPLG meetings and so hosting the workshop in the margins of SOM 1, prior to CPLG presents us with the greatest opportunity to get broad participation from APEC member economies as well as participation from relevant officers involved in competition policy and enforcement Also there will be a number of competition experts who will be asked to make presentations in CPLG or EC meetings and having the workshop in the margins of SOM 1, also present us with an opportunity to utilize experts who will be attending other meetings in the margins of SOM 1.

5) Should circumstances beyond our control make it impossible to host the workshop in the margins of SOM 1, then arrangements will be made to host the 2 day workshop in the margins of SOM 3, prior to the EC meeting, in 2018. The PNG APEC Secretariat and the PNG APEC Authority will be made aware and necessary arrangements will be made to slot in the workshop within the SOM 3, 2018 calendar.

Monitoring and Evaluation

For monitoring and evaluation we will circulate survey forms after the workshop for participants to complete. In these evaluation forms we will ask about how they felt about the workshop, if they learnt something new about MCR’s. Was the workshop designed effectively to achieve desired outcomes and would they have any improvements they would like to suggest for workshops to be held in the future.

As indicators for success in the workshop we would like to see broad participation from travel eligible economies. As there are 10 travel eligible economies (and PNG makes 11) and funding has been allocated for 2 participants per economy, success will be seen if we can have all 20 participants at the workshop. If all 20 cannot make it, if there are at least one representative from each of the 10 economies, then it would mean broad participation for the workshop. We will book out a room for 44 people. So this will cater for 20 international participants; 10 domestic participants; 5 experts; and 5 for support staff that would be needed on the day to run the workshop. We will make provisions for 4 extra seats should extra participants wish to join.

In terms of sharing best practices we would hope to have 6 presentations from member economies; 2 for economies with mandatory MCR’s; 2 for voluntary regimes (e.g. PNG); and 2 for economies with sector specific regimes (e.g. Peru). It would be considered a success if we could have those 6 presentations, however if we are not able to get those 6 presentations we will hope to have at least one presentation by an APEC economy on each of the 3 types of MCR’s. This will ensure broad MCR discussions from experts and participants.

Linkages

This project work is linked to the work of EC but also more specifically, linked to CPLG, a sub-fora within EC. 

This project builds on previous work by done in EC. In 2015 there was a FotC on Competition Policy within EC. It was in that FotC that discussions on MCR’s in the APEC region were first had. Following discussions within the FotC a questionnaire was circulated to members of the FotC asking them about the type of MCR they employed with their economy and the challenges faced. It was also in the work-plan of the FotC to have an information sharing workshop on MCR’s following the compiling of results from the questionnaire.

This project also builds from the ‘competition week’ held in SOM 1, 2017, prior to CPLG, in that it continues the discussions on competition, i.e. introducing more competition into APEC economies to drive growth. Topics that were covered by workshops in competition week were; ‘competition assessments (OECD)’; ‘investigative techniques employed by competition agencies’; and ‘the economics of competition policy’. This workshop on MCR does not duplicate topics discussed in the workshops during competition week but adds to the work that has already covered in discussing a different element of competition law & enforcement to further achieve CPLG and RAASR goals of fostering competitive markets. Learning also from the workshops held in competition week, we will seek experts from the OECD’s Europe office to make presentations, as they really added value to discussions in the workshops held during competition week.

This project is linked to the work of RAASR, especially with regards to pillars 1 and 2 of the RAASR framework. Competitive market reforms have also been listed in PNG’s RAASR IAP.

Sustainability

Creating an environment where MCR’s can be enforced effectively and competition can be fostered and have many long-lasting impacts for economic growth for the APEC region. Following the completion of the workshop a report on best practices for MCR’s will be produced which is drawn out from the discussions and presentations from the workshop. This will have longer lasting impacts despite the completion of the project as economies would be able to make more informed decisions on the implementation of their MCR or in the formulation of their MCR. 

From the CPLG meetings we can monitor if participants found the workshop and report useful, in providing assistance to making their MCR more effective, and in keeping markets competitive.

Project Overseers

Project Overseer who will be responsible for the management of this project will be Mr. Ninisahafo Neheja. Mr. Neheja works as a Principal Analyst at the Competitive Markets and Fair Trade Division of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”), Papua New Guinea’s competition agency. The Division which Mr. Neheja works for is the Division responsible for the enforcement of Papua New Guinea’s voluntary MCR. Mr. Neheja has been working for the ICCC for 3 years and 3 months.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

The facilitator will be responsible for the facilitation of the 2-day workshop. He/she is responsible to facilitate, guide the discussions, and provide appropriate advice during the workshop.

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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