EVENT REPORT- JUNE – JULY 2006 Training Workshop on “Competition Policy and Law” (CPS.04)
Bangkok, Thailand, June 29-July 01, 2006

Organized by
CUTS Institute for Competition and Regulation (CIRC) in collaboration with Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance (FEMAG), Australia; the International Network of Civil Society Organisations on Competition (INCSOC), India; the Board of Trade of Thailand (BOT); and the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT)

The 4th training seminar on Competition Policy & Law led by the CUTS Institute for Competition and Regulation (CIRC) was held at the Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand from June 29 – July 1, 2006. This three-day training seminar was organised in collaboration with the Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance, Australia; the International Network of Civil Society Organisations on Competition, India; the Board of Trade of Thailand; and the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand. It began with opening remarks by Nitya Nanda, a permanent faculty member of CIRC, followed by an overview on Competition Policy & Law and Economic Regulation by Philippe Brusick, Head of the Competition and Consumer Policy Branch, UNCTAD.

The objectives of the training seminar were:

– Develop analytical capacities to comprehend Competition Law related issues
– Develop an understanding on compliance and procedural issues
– Understand the expected role of different stakeholders and groups in order to ensure the competitiveness of markets and accelerate economic growth

The training programme covered several areas related to Competition Policy & Law: Overview and Basic Principles of Competition Law & Policy and Economic Regulation, Horizontal and Vertical Restrictive Practices, Dominance and Market Power, Mergers and Acquisitions, and the interface between competition law and sectoral regulation, and between competition law and law on intellectual property. Besides there were sessions on case studies relating to restrictive practices, abuse of dominance and merger impact assessment.

The training seminar was designed in a manner to cover all the objectives that it aimed to achieve. Participants had come from countries across the globe including India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Vietnam, Netherlands, USA, and Malaysia and representatives of the Department of Internal Trade of Thailand (the authority which oversees competition issues in this country), many multinational corporate houses, civil society organisations, law firms and trade associations. The different backgrounds of participants made the process of learning more interesting as variety of examples were cited. The duration of sessions provided adequate time for discussions and deliberations giving the process of learning a wider scope. Groups for discussing case studies were divided based on their respective backgrounds. These different groups identified and related with the subject in their own manner enhancing the level of knowledge sharing.

Some highlights of the event are as follows:
Sessions were designed in way so as to have sufficient time for floor interventions. This increased the level of participation in each session.

Self-assessment forms were given to participants before the start of the seminar. This was designed to assess their understanding on issues relating to competition policy and law. This triggered an interest amongst participants who were keen to know the right answers for questions given in the self-assessment form. The participants actively participated in the discussion leading to the right answers, and even endeavoured into various scenarios with valid justifications.

Participants showed an eagerness to learn and found the course content good. Case study approach enabled an overall participation. Participants cited real examples they came across in their routine works to get advice from the resource persons.

The objective to build capacity of the participants on basic issues of competition policy and law was achieved as the seminar covered all the relevant aspects of competition policy and law.

Course content was apt and fitted the requirement. Course length was found suited to the time constraints of company executives and trade association officers, who constituted a majority of the participants.

List of coordinates of both resource persons and participants, all presentations, and self-assessment forms were given to all the participants for future use.

Several eminent competition experts and economists from various parts of the world, including Thailand, participated as resource persons in the seminar. Their presentations included case studies and live examples with which the participants could relate easily. The resource persons included:

– Patrick Krauskopf, Director, Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO)
– Sitesh Bhojani, Barrister and Consultant, former Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
– Deunden Nikomborirak, Research Director, Economic Governance, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI)
– John Preston, Consultant on Competition Policy, Private Sector Policy Department, DFID
– S. Chakravarthy, Consultant on Competition Policy; former member, Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission of India
– Philippe Brusick, Head, Competition and Consumer Policy Branch, UNCTAD, and
– Malathy Knight John, Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka