Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Issues related to competition policy and its meaning in free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as economic partnerships agreements (EPAs) were the main topics discussed at the first working day of the APEC’s Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).
The event is within the third Senior Official Meeting (SOM 3) and related meetings which are taking place in HCM City.
Around 100 delegates from 21 APEC- member economies attended the workshop, where experts and lawyers spoke about the benefits of establishing an amended chapter on competition in FTAs and EPAs and its impact on domestic economies based on empirical research.
Marie Sherylyn D Aquia, chair of the CTI, said: “There is a strong and complementary relationship between trade and competition policies. This is due to their similarity in objectives. Both trade and competition policies seek to enhance welfare by providing for more efficient allocation of resources, whether it is lowering trade barriers or promoting competition.”
“New, comprehensive economic or trade agreements now feature specific provisions or entire chapters to competition-related matters,” she added.
Satoshi Ogawa, a lawyer specialising in competition issues in the OECD competition division, said: “Now as never before, it is important to include competition provisions in FTAs and EPAs in the globalised economy.”
As international cooperation is needed to fight anti-competitive conduct beyond national borders, these provisions would benefit competition authorities and the business community, according to the lawyer..
Meeting participants also discussed challenges facing each economy in negotiating the chapter on competition.
“Competition laws and competition authorities are still new in some of the APEC economies. APEC is engaging a lot in the completion field. They are making guidelines and database in order to share competition information among APEC members,” said Hiroshi Kuro, senior deputy director of the FTA/EPA Negotiations Economic Partnership at the Investment Policy Division of the Economic Affairs Bureau at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“APEC has an important role in promoting the competition chapter,” he said.
CTI, established in November 1993 under the APEC Trade and Investment Framework, provides a forum for APEC’s 21 member economies to discuss trade and policy issues. VNS