• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

‘The BRICS Centre will Help Transfer Best Practices in Antitrust Regulation to Africa’

‘The BRICS Centre will Help Transfer Best Practices in Antitrust Regulation to Africa’

© HSE University

At the Russia-Africa Forum held last week, HSE University’s International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre, in collaboration with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, organised a discussion on ‘The Fight against Anticompetitive Practices of Large TNCs, Cross-Border Cartel Combatting, and International Cooperation.’

The heads of antitrust agencies from Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Gambia, and Chad participated in the event. Maxim Shaskolsky, Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, was the key speaker. The session was moderated by Alexey Ivanov, Director of the International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre.

While focusing on the problems of national economies, Russian and African antitrust authorities should not overlook the issue of anticompetitive behaviour by global players, stated Alexey Ivanov. The restrictive business practices of large transnational corporations have an adverse impact on international trade, particularly on the trade and growth potential of developing economies, and diminish the effectiveness of national antitrust regulation. Working out a response to the actions of large TNCs is possible only through active interaction between the competition authorities of different countries. Russia is already working with many African countries within the frameworks of BRICS, BRICS+, and the United Nations, including UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).

Alexey Ivanov
Photo: Anna Gorban / Roscongress Foundation

‘The reformatting of global markets and trade channels in all sectors of the world economy—from the food industry to the circulation of data on digital platforms and financial services—sharply raises the question of protecting competition and preventing monopolisation, various forms of misuse, cartelisation, etc; in other words, everything that hinders the normal processes of economic development and healthy social relations. The tools of antimonopoly law are undeservedly forgotten and marginalised. Cooperation with Africa plays a key role in this matter, as it is the largest growing economy—probably one of the few regions in the world that still has everything ahead of it. It is precisely at this stage that we need to lay the foundations for a fair, honest, competitive economic order and slow down the processes of monopolisation and digital colonisation of Africa. The BRICS Centre will help transfer best practices in antitrust regulation to Africa,’ emphasised Alexey Ivanov.

Maxim Shaskolsky
Photo: Anna Gorban / Roscongress Foundation

In order to effectively combat cross-border anticompetitive practices, it is also necessary to expand international cooperation.

‘Interaction with foreign partners allows us to exchange experience and practices, gain access to missing information available to other jurisdictions, see the global nature of offense, optimise resource utilisation, and avoid asymmetry in decision-making and instructions,’ said Maxim Shaskolsky, Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service.

Teresa Moreira, Head of the Competition and Consumer Policies Branch of UNCTAD, spoke about work to develop international cooperation within UNCTAD. Competition and consumer protection issues have been at the centre of UNCTAD’s attention since the 1980s, when The Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control Restrictive Business Practices was adopted. A memorandum of understanding was signed between UNCTAD and the International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre.

Teresa Moreira
Photo: mart.gov.by

‘Our priority is to help developing countries better integrate into the global economy through effective competition law enforcement and еру dissemination of best regulatory practices within their national laws,’ she said.

UNCTAD pays special attention to the working group on section F of The Set of Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices of the United Nations, the speaker emphasised. The joint work of regulators, including work at the regional level, is important.

‘At the regional level, it is always easier to gather the necessary resources and a pool of experts in order to exchange experience, knowledge and even launch joint investigations. In our opinion, this is a great way for antitrust authorities to compensate for the lack of resources and support colleagues with less experience in this area,’ said Teresa Moreira.

Mahmoud Momtaz, Chairman of the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA), stressed that the issues of information sharing, coordination of investigations, harmonisation of competition laws and capacity building of regulators go far beyond regional organisations. In 2021, the volume of trade between African countries and Russia amounted to about 15.6 billion USD. Given the number of countries involved in the trade process, competition practices in the global context play an important role. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the growth in population and industrial production on the African continent, as well as the factor of digitalisation.

Mahmoud Momtaz
Photo: Anna Gorban / Roscongress Foundation

‘In the context of global digitalisation, the competition protection practices that we use are changing, which means that corresponding changes in antitrust laws should also take place. I am convinced that it is extremely important to pay attention to cooperation at all levels and improve the mechanisms of antimonopoly policy,’ Mahmoud Momtaz emphasised.

Amadou Ceesay
Photo: Anna Gorban / Roscongress Foundation

Amadou Ceesay, Executive Secretary of the Gambia Competition and Consumer Commission (GCCPC), said that while the Gambia is a small country, it is an important player in the region and the Gambia Competition Authority is engaged in international competition enforcement cooperation. The African Competition Forum in 2023 will be held in the Gambia.

Hardin Ratshisusu, Deputy Commissioner of the Competition Commission of the Republic of South Africa, believes that any competition authority should consider international cooperation to be its priority and deal with global cases, because the negative effects of monopolisation hinder economic growth. There is a need to constantly monitor the practices of global companies.

Hardin Ratshisusu
Photo: Anna Gorban / Roscongress Foundation

Today, 29 countries on the African continent have antitrust laws. In addition, there are four regional economic associations in Africa with related competition legislation. ‘This suggests that the African continent is developing and moving towards building a system of clear rules for the protection of competition,’ said Hardin Ratshisusu. According to him, the Competition Commission of South Africa has already concluded a number of memorandums of understanding—both within the BRICS framework and with individual neighbouring countries in the region. ‘Trust is extremely important, and it is built on personal interaction: we can share important information and trust partners from other countries,’ he stressed. He also believes that it is possible to create a single competition agency that would work throughout the African continent.

Summing up the session, Maxim Shaskolsky said that although the competition authorities of the BRICS countries and the African continent have different capabilities, resources, and status, the challenges and tasks they face are similar. ‘We plan to develop cooperation in a bilateral, multilateral format through international organisations, exchange experience and information. This way, we will establish interaction and build the trust that my colleagues spoke about today.’

See also:

BRICS Academic Forum Held in Moscow

The Forum brought together more than 200 representatives from the expert community across all BRICS countries to discuss the topic ‘BRICS: New Figures at the Global Chessboard.’ The forum was organised by the BRICS Expert Council–Russia, which operates on the basis of HSE University. The event’s opening ceremony featured the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Duma, as well as HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov and HSE Vice Rector, Russian W20 Sherpa Victoria Panova.

HSE Strengthens Cooperation with India and Creates Opportunities for Dialogue between Experts

Following the visit of the HSE University delegation to New Delhi, cooperation agreements with leading Indian universities were finalised. Similarly, a number of expert events, consultations and negotiations on the development of comprehensive strategic cooperation with Bharat took place. The HSE University delegation also participated in the Raisina Dialogue, one of the largest international expert forums.

HSE Hosts Round Table ‘Africa and BRICS: Reflections and Prospects’

On April 15, 2024 HSE University hosted a roundtable discussion ‘Africa and BRICS: Reflections and Prospects.’ The event featured leading experts from the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) Steven Gruzd and Gustavo de Carvalho and was moderated by HSE Vice Rector and Head of the BRICS Expert Council–Russia Victoria Panova.

Intellectual Property Issues in the Framework of BRICS Discussed at HSE University

On April 8, a roundtable discussion entitled ‘Intellectual Property on the Rise: How to Maximize Its Positive Impact and Avoid Hazards’ took place at HSE University in Moscow. The participants included Victoria Panova, HSE Vice Rector and Head of the BRICS Expert Council–Russia, andAlan Freeman, Co-Director of Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba; Secretary of Geopolitical Economy Research and Education Trust; Co-Editor of Geopolitical Economy Book series, Manchester University Press.

‘The Goal of the Contest Is to Select Bold Ideas Aimed at Fostering a More Equitable Global Development’

HSE Vice Rector, Head of the BRICS Expert Council–Russia and Co-chair of the BRICS Civil Forum Victoria Panova, and Dean of the HSE Faculty of Humanities and Chair of the Contest Jury Felix Azhimov, announced the primary objectives of the contest, its format and potential participants during a press conference at TASS. Nationals from the BRICS countries, aged 18 to 45, are eligible to apply for participation in the contest. The jury will select ten winners, three of whom will be given the opportunity to attend the BRICS Civil Forum in Moscow in person.

‘We Have Promising Opportunities with Africa, and It Is Important to Foster Cooperation’

A Strategic Session focusing on cooperation between Russia and African countries in the sphere of higher education was held at HSE University's building on Pokrovsky Bulvar. The event was attended by representatives of HSE University, rectors of other Russian universities, and ambassadors and ministers of higher education from several African states.

‘Fine-Tuning the Molecule’: Prospects for Biosimilar Market in BRICS Space

The market for biological products and their analogues is one of the most promising in the pharmaceutical industry. BRICS countries currently have great opportunities to develop this segment. The International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre at HSE University, together with the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, held a meeting of the BRICS Working Group for the Research of Competition Issues in Pharmaceutical Markets.

BRICS Antimonopoly Authorities to Join Forces in Regulating Grain Markets

More than 70% to 80% of the calories we consume are derived from grain products. However, the global grain market today is dominated by a small group of traders. The HSE International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre has proposed establishing an intergovernmental BRICS platform on fair competition to serve as a new mechanism for coordinating the efforts of antimonopoly authorities in regulating global markets. This topic was discussed at an international seminar in Cairo.

HSE University Hosts the First Meeting of Russian NGO Representatives as Part of BRICS Civil Track

More than 50 representatives of non-profit organisations took part in the meeting, where they discussed the event plan for 2024 and thematic areas of activity of the working groups of the BRICS Civil Forum, scheduled to be held in Moscow in July 2024. The BRICS civil track’s operations are coordinated by the BRICS Expert Council–Russia.

BRICS Expert Council–Russia Launched at HSE University

The official presentation of the BRICS Expert Council – Russia has taken place at HSE University. The Council will be responsible for the information, analytical and expert support of the Russian BRICS Chairship 2024.