Project Title

CTI-EC FTAAP Policy Dialogue on Competition-Related Provisions in FTAs/EPAs from a Business Perspective 

Project Year

2020   

Project Number

CTI 03 2020T 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

CTI 03 2020T 

Project Title

CTI-EC FTAAP Policy Dialogue on Competition-Related Provisions in FTAs/EPAs from a Business Perspective 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

TILF Special Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2020 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

88,415 

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

88,415 

Sponsoring Forum

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Topics

Trade Facilitation 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

Economic Committee (EC) 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Japan 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Canada; Chile; China; Mexico; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Chinese Taipei; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/07/2020 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2020 

Project Proponent Name 1

Aiko Kado 

Job Title 1

Assistant Director, APEC Division, Economic Affairs Bureau 

Organization 1

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(81-3) 55018000 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

aiko.kado@mofa.go.jp, apec.japan@mofa.go.jp 

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

Aiko Kado 

Project Summary

High-quality and comprehensive competition policies in FTAs/EPAs are essential to provide a predictable and supportive environment for business and investment.

The organisers of this project will hold two day (2-3 hours per day) virtual policy dialogue involving officials, academics and business leaders in August 2020. The policy dialogue will allow officials from APEC economies to deepen their understanding of what constitutes high-quality, comprehensive competition policies and how these policies are reflected in FTAs/EPAs to improve the ease with which business is done in the region. The dialogue will also address emerging issues and challenges surrounding the implementation of comprehensive competition related policies in our respective economies including the impact of COVID-19.

Participation in this project will provide economies with the basis for possible competition related provisions for progressing the concept of FTAAP.

The outcomes achieved through Japan’s previous projects are the basis of this project, having already identified "desirable" and "optional" elements for a high-quality and comprehensive competition chapter in FTAs/EPAs.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: The proposed project will consist of two day (2-3 hours per day) virtual policy dialogue to discuss key elements of competition policy settings and related provisions in Free Trade Agreements/Economic Partnership Agreements (FTAs/EPAs) - focusing on best practices which foster a competitive business environment and equal opportunity for all type of enterprises. This project will help APEC economies to deepen understanding of the importance of high-quality and comprehensive competition related provisions in FTAs/EPAs, especially from a business perspective, in ensuring predictability and inclusiveness. This dialogue based on the analysis commissioned by ABAC (Juan Navarro (2020), “FTAAP: Competition Policy”) will contribute to building capacity of all APEC economies, which could lead to progressing the concept of an FTAAP. The project may also consider how competition policy could provide solutions to issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis including supply chain challenges; new support for domestic industries; and enhanced competition for MSME’s. 

Relevance – Eligibility and Fund Priorities: The proposed project will contribute to achieving trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation objectives listed in the Osaka Action Agenda of Part One: “Liberalisation and facilitation”; Section C: “Actions in specific area”; Item 8. “Competition Policy”.

It is expected to meet TILF funding criteria through the implementation of the actions as described in Collective Actions of above-mentioned “Item 8. Competition Policy”, under the ‘Collective Actions’ subsection:

“b. deepen competition policy dialogue between APEC economies and relevant international organisations”;

“c. continue to develop understanding in the APEC the business community of competition policy and/or laws and administrative procedures”; and

“f. contribute to the use of trade and competition laws, policies and measures that promote free and open trade, investment and competition”.

Relevance – Capacity Building: This project is built on the best practices and lessons learned from previously implemented projects in  2017 (“FTAAP Capacity Building Workshop on FTA Negotiation Skills on competition under the 2nd REI CBNI”), 2018 (“FTAAP Capacity Building Workshop on Competition Policy under the 3rd REI CBNI”) and 2019 (“FTAAP Capacity Building Workshop on Competition Policy under the 3rd REI CBNI: Sharing Good Examples of FTAs/EPAs”). The project is also seeking to reinforce capacities of participants based on their needs and challenges, as the agenda of Policy Dialogue will be developed through reflecting suggestions provided by economies. Participation by policy makers, business community representatives and academia will be sought. We thus believe this project will help APEC economies deepen their understanding of the importance of high-quality and comprehensive competition related provisions in FTAs/EPAs, especially from a business perspective in ensuring predictability and inclusivity.

Objectives

Our objective is to examine the value of high-quality and comprehensive competition related provisions in FTAs/EPAs, in ensuring a competitive business climate by providing a predictable and supportive environment for business and investment. We recognise these reflections ultimately contribute to building capacity of relevant officials for progressing the concept of FTAAP. This objective will be achieved through a dialogue between academia, policy makers and members of the business community on the implication of high-quality and comprehensive competition related provisions in FTAs/EPAs, as a mean of ensuring a level-playing field for all type of enterprises.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  We recognise the importance of APEC as a premier regional forum to further free and open trade and investment, and to promote deeper regional economic integration. Ministers agreed to “work constructively to pursue further work, including in all areas identified by economies, to advance the Lima Declaration” at the last Minister Responsible for Trade Meeting in May 2019. This project specifically supports this aim and would make a substantial contribution to understanding the level of coverage and ambition on competition policy enshrined in FTAs/EPAs across the region.  The activity will also highlight areas of commonality or gaps and sensitivities, which could be the focus of more enhanced capacity building in APEC. Furthermore, this project will be implemented under the 3rd Regional Economic Integration Capacity Building Needs Initiative (REI CBNI), which is recognised as the continuity from 2nd CBNI outlined in the Beijing Roadmap. Japan is especially keen on capacity building in the area of competition related provisions, as three workshops on its subject were subsequently organised in 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

Alignment – Forum: The proposed project supports priorities identified both in CTI and EC (including CPLG), namely (1) advancing regional economic integration, including implementation of the Lima Declaration on the FTAAP, and, (2) removing structural obstacles by promoting structural reforms in the area of competition policy following the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR).

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:

(1)  To organise two days (twice 2-3 hours session) virtual meeting (expected to be hosted from Tokyo, Japan)) policy dialogue in August .

(2)  The policy dialogue will deliver

(a)  Presentations on followings;

(i)   a comparative stock-take of competition related provisions in FTAs/EPAs provided by ABAC,

(ii)  an opinion gathered from the business community through ABAC.

(iii) a reflection on a possible role played by FTAs/EPAs facing at the unprecedented market disruption caused by COVID-19 also will also be addressed.

(b)  Dialogue between academia, policy-makers and business representatives to discuss followings: elements to contribute in tackling distortive measures, and to ensure a level playing field such as by eliminating market distortive measures and preferential regulatory treatment, elements to ensure inclusiveness and equal opportunity for all stakeholders, such as customer protection and inclusion of MSMEs, women and other underrepresented groups.

(c)  Final report compiling all presentation and discussions will be produced (20-30 pages).

Outcomes:

(1)   Participants to deepen their understandings on the concerns, needs as well as expectation from the business community in relation to competition related provisions.

(2)   Participants to increase their understandings on different approaches in relation to competition related provisions.

(3)   Participants to be advocated on the importance of the business community’s involvement in policy formulation. 

Beneficiaries: The proposed project will invite the participation of academia (specialised in trade related research), trade policy makers and negotiators (such as government officials from the ministry of foreign affairs, economy, and competition authorities), as well as business representatives (especially dealing with trade issues) in APEC economies in addition to both CTI and EC representations, as both speakers and beneficiaries. Since the focus of the project is to examine the implication of high-quality and comprehensive competition related provisions in FTAs/EPAs, gathering wide-ranging views is key to the project’s success. We will thus invite the active participation of MSMEs representatives and women stakeholders. Participants and speakers will be selected for their experience and knowledge in the area of competition policy, upon the recommendation of APEC economies. In order to ensure the policy dialogue will reach as many secondary beneficiaries as possible, a final report will be published on the APEC website.

Dissemination

Electronic publication will be an optimal way to widely disseminate the documents presented at the Policy Dialogue. The official APEC website will be the main portal to upload the documents. A detailed project final report of the Policy Dialogue will also be prepared and submitted to CTI for approval and to EC for information and will be published as an APEC Publication. The target audience will be trade policy officials from APEC economies working on FTAs/EPAs, researchers and analysts, as well as business representatives.

Gender

The project will promote “skills, capacity building and health”, which is one of the five pillars of women’s economic empowerment.

The identification and discussion of key elements of competition related provisions that help foster a competitive business environment and equal opportunity for all types of enterprises including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and women entrepreneurs will offer interesting insights into how FTAs and EPAs can improve the quality of life and economic empowerment of women.

The PO is aiming for at least 50% representation by women as speakers and 50% by women participants. Invitations sent to CTI and EC (including CPLG) representatives will promote gender balance by encouraging the nomination of female speakers and participants.

The PO will ensure the evaluation forms distributed at the end of Policy Dialogue include information on gender for project assessment, in order to evaluate the specific responses of women and men.

Work Plan

Time

Task

Deliverables

July2020

PO to start the contracting process.

Contract

By 2nd week of August 2020

PO to develop the agenda for the Policy Dialogue.

PO to identify speakers.

PO to develop questionnaire for opinion gathering and to conduct opinions from business community on key elements of competition related provisions in FTAs/EPAs enabling the promotion of a competitive business climate in collaboration with ABAC.

Agenda

List of speakers

Questionnaire for opinion gathering

3rd week of August 2020

Contractor to design ex-ante and ex-post survey to participants.

Contractor to develop General Information.

Contractor to invite speakers and participants from relevant APEC ministries/agencies, academia, ABAC and international organisations.

Ex-ante survey

Ex-post survey

GI

Invitation list

4th week of August 2020

Contractor to conduct ex-ante survey to participants

PO to collect and analyse opinions from business community on key elements of competition related provisions in FTAs/EPAs enabling the promotion of a competitive business climate.

Result of opinion gathered from business community

1st week of September 2020

Contractor to collect and analyse ex-ante survey

Result of ex-ante survey

3rd /4th week of September 2020

To hold two day (2-3 hours per day) virtual Policy Dialogue.

To brief on discussion of the outcomes of the Policy Dialogue at relevant committees.

To gather and analyse ex-post survey collected during the Policy Dialogue.

Policy Dialogue

Ex-post survey

1 October 2020

To submit APEC Project Monitoring Report

APEC Project Monitoring Report

1 November 2020

To submit final report

Final report

28 February2021

To submit APEC Project Completion Report

APEC Project Completion Report

July 2021

To participate in the Longer-Term Evaluation of APEC Projects. 

  Longer-Term Evaluation

* Kindly note that the suggested dates for the policy dialogue are flexible due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Risks

One of the risks would be to ensure the selection of relevant speakers while considering the gender balance in order to make the most of the policy dialogue; the Project Overseer will work with the co-sponsoring economies and ABAC to get recommendations of potential speakers. There may be last-minute speaker cancellations. That risk will be managed by identifying possible back-up speakers in advance of the event.

Another risk might be the difficulty in selecting appropriate participants while considering the gender balance. The CTI and EC representatives will be the focal point to nominate participants who will attend the Policy Dialogue. To ensure the Policy Dialogue will attract the targeted participants, invitations will also be sent to ABAC and CPLG.

As the Policy Dialogue will be held in virtual, number of participants, interaction between speakers and participants also degree of engagement could be counted as a risk. To address this potential risks, the project Overseer have split the Policy Dialogue into 2 sessions (2-3 hours maximum per session) and the speakers who are possible to travel to Tokyo will be gathered at one place in order to facilitate their interaction with participants.

Monitoring and Evaluation

(1) The number of participants (target 40-50) and their level of expertise (possibly measured by a number of years involved in the competition related work.) will be an important indicator of the project benefits (an improvement of the latter will be measured by an ex-ante survey.)

(2) The number of female participants will be another indicator, which the Project Overseer is aiming for at least 50% representation by women as speakers and 50% by women participants.

(3) The target number of developing economies participating in the Policy Dialogue to a minimum of five economies.

(4) An ex-post survey questionnaire will be prepared and distributed at the end of the dialogue to all participants, to assess the effectiveness of the Policy Dialogue, the relevance of the topics, presentations by speakers, overall impact and suggestions for further improvement and/or activities for future projects.

(5) An eventual influence on the future capacity building workshops related to the FTAs/EPAs topic could also serve as a possible indicator. The results of the ex-post survey will be presented in the project completion report, which will be provided to CTI and EC.

Linkages

This project will be elaborated in close collaboration with ABAC, recognising one of core objectives of APEC is to promote free and open trade and investment in the region which should ultimately benefit the business community as a whole. Cross-fora work between CTI and EC (including CPLG) will be promoted, as the Policy Dialogue deals with competition policy. This project is built on the best practices and lessons learned from previously implemented projects in  2017 (“FTAAP Capacity Building Workshop on FTA Negotiation Skills on competition under the 2nd REI CBNI”), 2018 (“FTAAP Capacity Building Workshop on Competition Policy under the 3rd REI CBNI”) and 2019 (“FTAAP Capacity Building Workshop on Competition Policy under the 3rd REI CBNI: Sharing Good Examples of FTAs/EPAs”). Based on the outcomes achieved through the previous activities, such as definition on “desirable” and “optional” elements (2018 and 2019) and common recognition on the importance of cooperation between relevant authorities (2019), this Policy Dialogue will raise sensitivity on the issues from a business perspective and enhance understanding of participants on high-quality and comprehensive FTAs/EPAs for the eventual realisation of FTAAP.

Sustainability

The participants will be able to understand the importance and usefulness of high-quality competition related provision in FTAs/EPAs. As a result, based on the deeper knowledge and experiences on this area, the policy makers and FTAs/EPAs negotiators of the region should make better-informed decisions for ensuring an enabling business climate. Moreover, FTAs/EPAs negotiators and researchers who will not be able to attend the Policy Dialogue could benefit from its outcome by reading the project final report loaded on APEC website. Ex-post survey questionnaires will invite Policy Dialogue participants to provide feedback, including on possible future activities that could be developed under the framework of the REI CBNI Action Plan Framework.

Project Overseers

The project overseer is Ms Aiko KADO, Assistant Director, APEC Division, Economic Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. She has been working on APEC issues since November 2018, and in charge of several APEC files including the EC, IEG, MAG in addition to collaboration with the Financial Minister Process and ABAC. The proposed project is her second APEC project, following the workshop organised last year under the project “FTAAP Capacity Building Workshop on Competition Policy under the 3rd REI CBNI: Sharing Good Examples of FTAs/EPAs”. Organisation and management of the policy dialogue will be carried out by the contractor.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

The main duties of the contractor include the following: to manage all logistical matters related to the organisation of the Policy Dialogue including ex-ante survey, ex-post survey form, General Information note, to analyse the results of the opinions gathered from the business community as well as both the ex-ante survey and ex-post survey questionnaires, and to help the PO to prepare the monitoring report, completion report and the final report. The direct contract is expected as contract value is not exceeding 20,000 USD.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Created at 28/07/2020 16:10  by Lucy Phua 
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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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