The session has started with Russian delegation confirming that the 6th Competition conference of BRICS was approved by the Russian government and is to be held in Moscow on 16th – 19th September 2019. The speakers will include representatives from Academia, Businesses, Government and non-government organisations. This conference signifies an important step towards further cooperation between BRICS. Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Mr. Tsyganov has stated that for as long as BRICS countries exist, for as long as problems in antitrust legislation exist, we should continue collaboration. The joint work of BRICS authorities has proved to be fruitful in the past few years. Furthermore, all countries participants further endorsed collaboration by unanimously deciding to amend the memorandum of collaboration signed at St. Petersburg and making it indefinite, thus showing their trust in long-term partnership.
Alexey Ivanov has used the opportunity to present the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Research Centre based in Russian research centre HSE-Skolkovo. First project on food value chains has proved to be successful in joining academics and policymakers from all of BRICS countries. Thus, the formal BRICS CLPRC organisation was created. It can be seen as a useful platform for collaboration and a game changer in building the network of academics, experts and policymakers for BRICS. He also presented a newly designed website, which will serve as a platform for future publications and news in preparation for the 6th conference. The representatives of Antitrust commissions of all 5 countries welcomed the initiative. South African delegation expressed great support of initiative and emphasized the importance of collaboration outside that between authorities, as well as welcoming the creation of web site, which according to head of African competition commission is necessary and timely tool, which will help to close the Information gap. Similarly, representatives from India endorsed the idea and expressed the will to participate in this initiative more actively and join the team. Both Russian and Brazil representatives endorsed the idea and saw great potential in it. Chinese delegation stated that they came to learn and agreed that collaboration between academia and policymakers would provide platform for learning. Overall the initiative by Alexey Ivanov was welcomed by antitrust authorities of all BRICS members.
Further discussion was aimed at assessing the performance of working groups and proposal for future research. Especially close attention was given to the working group on digital markets. Alexandre Cordeiro Macedo, superintendent of Brazil's Council for Economic Defence, said that Brazil pays special attention to this issue. They have already created 2 internal groups within CADE and are looking for further ways to expand collaboration on this strategic issue.
Professor Ioannis Lianos has delivered a presentation on the competition law for digital economy, focusing on its impact in BRICS countries. He emphasised that this topic garners a lot of interest globally and stressed its importance for BRICS as developing markets with 40-50%of the world population.