Co-chaired: India, South Africa
Main Coordinator: India
Traditionally, the Competition Authorities of the BRICS countries work closely together in the framework of the BRICS Working Groups for the Research of Competition Issues on Socially Important Markets.
At present, the BRICS Working Groups for the Research of Competition Issues on Pharmaceutical and Food markets have been functioning on an annual basis. Within the framework of these working groups, the BRICS Competition Authorities and the antimonopoly authorities of the EU, CIS and EEA countries that are being brought to discussion share their accumulated experience in regulating and suppressing anticompetitive behaviors in these markets.
In May 2016, within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, the activities of the Working Groups were consolidated in the Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter – the Memorandum) signed by the heads of all the BRICS Competition Authorities. The Memorandum is aimed at the cooperation within the BRICS in the field of competition law and policy (paragraph 4 of the Memorandum).
In accordance with clause 3 of the Memorandum, in order to ensure the proper exchange of information and consultations between the BRICS Competition Authorities the BRICS Coordination Committee for Antimonopoly Policy was established, the first meeting of which was held in September 2016.
In addition, in accordance with clause 4.1. of the Memorandum (“4.1 Parties may create Working Groups for joint research on issues of mutual interest”) The Indian Competition Commission and the Competition Commission of South Africa have proposed the creation of the BRICS Working Group for the Research of Competition Issues on Automotive markets.
The idea of holding the first meeting of this working group was repeatedly discussed in the framework of bilateral meetings between representatives of the FAS Russia and the Competition Commission of South Africa (meeting of Mr. Anrdey Tsarikovsky and Mr. Hardin Ratsisusu in December 2016, a meeting of representatives of the BRICS Competition Authorities in March 2017, the meeting of Mr. Andrey Tsyganov with Mr. Tembinkosi Bonakele in May 2017, a meeting of representatives of the of the BRICS Competition Authorities in the framework of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in May 2017) and various events (X Annual Conference on Competition Law, Economics and Policy in Cape Town in October 2016, the Roundtable for the Research of Automotive Spare part Market organized by the Competition Commission of South Africa in March 2017).
The Indian side also expressed interest in holding a meeting of the Working Group during the meetings of the FAS Russia delegation with Mr. Devender Kumar Sikri, the head of the Indian Competition Commission, held in October 2016 in Geneva within the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on competition law and policy at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in May 2017 in Porto in the framework of the Annual Conference of the International Competition Network (ICN), as well as in July 2017 in Geneva within the session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on competition law and policy.
Taking into account the fact that the creation of the abovementioned Working Group was proposed by India and South Africa, it was decided that the Competition Commission of South Africa together with the Indian Competition Commission can co-chair the Working Group and attract leading experts from BRICS, EU and CIS countries to hold the first meeting of the Working Group. The first meeting of the Working Group is planned to be held in 2018-2019.