Policy and Law Cooroeration Program

 

International Trade Competition Law and Policy Cooperation Program

1.1. OECD - Thailand Country Program:

The CP project is a cooperation between Thailand and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development: OECD aiming to provide Thailand with access to good knowledge and practices of OECD in potential building and development. Thailand’s agencies have participated in 16 branches of the project, including developing competition policy, with the TCCT as the main agency in the branch. Important activities under the Competition Policy Development, CP project are:

  1. Six workshops, four of which are TCCT’s personal capacity-building workshops, and two are understanding adjustment with other government agencies, The Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court and the Administrative Court. There is also a Competition Day to build awareness of trade competition laws.
  2. One study report for important practical and regulation guidelines, such as a merger, administrative punishment, or leniency program. The TCCT has co-hosted with OECD in hosting important programs under the CP project:
    1. OECD – Thailand Country Programme on Developing Competition Policy (OECD KPC – TCCT Bilateral Seminar), 17 – 19 May 2019.
    2. Competition Assessment Workshop, 1-2 October 2019.
    3. Competition Day, 4 October 2019.
    4. The 1st OECD – TCCT Online Workshop, covering cartel agreement, leniency program, and fining, 9 – 12 November 2020, 15.00 – 18.00
    The TCCT still has more work sessions with the OECD to be completed in early 2021 which are two online workshops and a study report by the OECD on merger control. The TCCT is working on the second phase of this project, and preliminary discussions have been made with the OECD and the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council. It is expected that conclusions could be made in early 2021.

1.2. OECD – ASEAN Competition Assessment Project:

The OECD – ASEAN Competition Assessment Project is financially supported by the UK government, with the goal to reform logistics rules and policies into a more competitive form that can elevate competition between state enterprises and private entrepreneurs in logistics, by writing two study reports in cooperation with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development: OECD:

  1. OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Thailand – Logistics Sector 2020
  2. OECD Competitive Neutrality Reviews: Thailand - Small-Package Delivery Services.

The TCCT has collected data and commented on competitive reviews in cooperation with experts from the OECD. Both study reports are published in the Competition Roundtables for Enhancing Competition in Logistics Sector of Thailand on 16 September 2020 at The Sukosol Hotel Bangkok, hosted by the OECD and the British Embassy Bangkok to present the reports and assessment of logistics regulation assessment, and performance of state enterprises in small package delivery business that might affect trade competition. Discussion of topics results in the submission of suggestions for improvement of rules and operations in order to promote free and fair trade in logistics with concreteness and efficiency. The TCCT invites the Minister of Commerce, the British Ambassador, along with 100 experts and representatives from relevant government and private agencies. The meeting itself is broadcasted online for the trade competition regulators in ASEAN, international organizations, academicians, and the general public.

   Currently, the International Affairs Division is drafting the Thai version of the report, and summarizing policy recommendations from the study for presentation to the TCCT, in order to refine them into a logistics trade competition-related comment and suggestion to the cabinet.


1.3. Organizational and Staff Capacity-building Advisory Services by ACCC

The TCCT cooperates with the Asia Foundation to build organizational and staff capacity through advisory services with the Asia Foundation as the coordinator, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The TCCT has surveyed capacity-building needs in all departments and cooperated with ACCC to set up topics for online advisory services, getting six in total: Merger Control, Competition, and public policy, Investigations, Market Dominance, Market Studies, and Review Sessions. The training is now concluded, and supplementary documents and records of the training are given to the TCCT management and staff, along with other relevant parties for watching later on.


1.4. Provincial Trade Competition Index: Prototype Development with the Asia Foundation and Australian government:

The TCCT has formed technical cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and The Asia Foundation (TAF), for the development of a prototype for the Provincial Trade Competition Index to be used in Thailand to indicate monopoly actions. The index is a rough survey of the competitive market and price in special markets at the provincial or regional level.

The TCCT and Asia Foundation have drafted the scope and a regulatory body for the development of the provincial trade competition index. The main duty is to develop data collection and analysis methods to make a provincial trade competition index, and all other relevant processes.


1.5. UNCTAD – TCCT Technical Assistance Project:

The TCCT has technical cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to support three operational components:

  1. Market Study on the Cross–Border Online Travel Agency (OTA) in the Hospitality and Tourism Sectors in Thailand.
  2. Guideline on Competition Regulation in the Multisided Platforms in the Hospitality and Tourism Sectors in Thailand
  3. Training for Trainers Program to build trade competition regulatory potential. Currently, the TCCT has founded a subcommittee to govern the technical cooperation project with UNCTAD and discuss with UNCTAD experts and contracted consultants from the Thailand Development Research Institute: TDRI.

1.6. Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), and JFTC – TCCT Technical Cooperation:

The TCCT has coordinated and discussed with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) regarding technical cooperation between the TCCT and Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) to build the capacity of the TCCT organization and staff. Examples of technical cooperation are webinars, staff exchange programs, and expert placements. The JICA proposes a technical cooperation process, and webinars to exchange information between the JFTC and TCCT, and survey the needs of capacity building to write a technical cooperation request for the 2022 Japanese Fiscal Year.

The JICA, JFTC, and TCCT have hosted two webinars between the TCCT and JFTC to exchange knowledge, information, and experience in trade competition regulation in Thailand and Japan, and use the data as a basis for the development and refinement of a technical cooperation request.

Currently, the TICA and JICA are proposing Thai-Japan academic cooperation within the 2021 Japanese Fiscal Year, starting from sending Japanese experts as off-project individual experts, then a technical cooperation project (TCP) will take place after some time.

The International Affairs Division has defined scope for this cooperation, with emphasis on staff capacity building such as training for the trainer, and establishment of the TCCT competition academy. The International Affairs Division has made and submitted a request for Thai-Japan academic cooperation to JICA through TICA.

JICA expects that individual experts shall be sent to Thailand in November 2021 – October 2023 (2 years) to promote TCCT staff and organizational capacity building.


1.7. Competition Law Implementation Program (CLIP):

The TCCT, in cooperation with the Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC), hosts the CLIP Module 6 Workshop on Market Studies between 19 – 21 November 2019 to exchange knowledge, experience, and good practices in market studies, data collection and analysis, and proposal making, between the TCCT, ACCC, Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC), Indonesian Competition Commission (ICC) and Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam (CCBD). This workshop is aimed to build TCCT staff capacity in market study and promote the application of the knowledge in practice.


1.8. ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU Plus Project: ARISE Plus – Thailand:

The ARISE Plus – Thailand project is a technical assistance program provided by the European Union to promote sustainable and comprehensive trade growth, covering assistance and trade competition policy related to trading, with the TCCT as the project manager. The EU has assigned the International Trade Center (ITC) as the project handler. The TCCT has requested technical assistance from the EU in four issues, of which the EU has agreed as proposed with the following details.

  1. Organizational and staff capacity building in the TCCT is done by the ITCC evaluating the structure and duty allocation to departments to optimize the TCCT’s operation. There are also trade competition regulation capacity-building activities, especially in the investigation, merger regulation, and market studies.
  2. Establishment of the competition academy. The ITC will perform a feasibility study and assist in curriculum design for the academy.
  3. Cooperation with various agencies. The ITC will provide assistance in the improvement of the TCCT’s cooperation with agencies, along with the support of cooperation and trade competition law lecturing with other agencies.
  4. Trade competition law lecturing for entrepreneurs and consumers. The ITC will assist in lecture plan development and send individual experts to assist in lecturing. The project has been ongoing since November 2020. The TCCT has worked with representatives from the ITC and Department of Trade Negotiations in making work plans. Currently, the project is at the first issue and has a duration of three years.

1.9. Study on Recommended Procedures for Cooperation on Cross-Border Competition Cases:

This project is under the 2016-2025 ASEAN Competition Action Plan (ACAP 2025) that is assigned to Thailand to support the third ACAP strategy in the development of trade competition law enforcement in cross-border cases. Thailand and Indonesia are the project coordinators in ASEAN.

The TCCT and Indonesian Competition Commission (ICC) jointly develop the scope for this project, discuss the project scope with other ASEAN member states and coordinate with the project advisor to comply with the scope. A study plan for the project scope is defined for the exchange of knowledge, notification, and enforcement pertaining to cross-border cases. After the start of the project, the TCCT has made a survey form to evaluate ASEAN member states’ readiness in the handling of cross-border cases. The project advisor has presented preliminary findings to the 25th ASEAN Expert Group on Competition (AEGC) meeting (October 2020). Currently, the project advisor in drafting the final report for the meeting’s approval later on.

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