Bakhyt Sultanov: “Today’s competition policy of the Commission changes following the global trend towards regionalization”

Bakhyt Sultanov, Minister in charge of Competition and Antitrust Regulation of the Eurasian Economic Commission, announced the main directions for developing the competition policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission, speaking at the International Forum on Fair Competition Policy in Beijing (PRC).

The EEC Minister has noted that China is one of the important trade partners of the Eurasian Economic Union, having borders with most of the EAEU countries.

“In 2022, the trade turnover between the Eurasian Economic Union and China grew by almost 30%. Exports increased by approx. 40%, and imports grew by 20%. The trade volume between the EAEU and China exceeded 200 bln dollars in 2022. In this regard, it is extremely important to enhance cooperation in the field of competition between the Eurasian Economic Commission and China," Bakhyt Sultanov noted.

According to the EEC Minister, the vector of development of competition policy of competition authorities changes under the influence of deglobalization and regionalization. More attention is paid to regional integration associations.

Active work is also under way to find the best instruments aimed at maintaining fair competition in digital markets.

"The digital environment represents a new challenge for competition authorities. Initiatives to regulate it are being discussed at the global level. The proposals are diverse and require close attention and painstaking study,” the EEC Minister added.

On the sidelines of the Forum, Bakhyt Sultanov had a meeting with Gan Lin, Head of the State Antimonopoly Bureau of the People's Republic of China.

Discussing the interaction between the EEC and China's antimonopoly regulator, Bakhyt Sultanov noted the need to continue active exchange of experience in conducting investigations of competition rules violations and research into commodity markets.

“Nowadays, Chinese competition legislation can be described as cutting-edge. Here, one of the first attempts was made to statutorily regulate the activities of IT giants in digital markets. We would like to study this experience and subsequently, perhaps, implement advanced innovations in the Union's law," Bakhyt Sultanov said.

Following the meeting, the Commission was invited to participate at the expert level in a training course on competition within the "Belt and Road" program to be held in October this year.

Nowadays, the interaction between the EEC and the PRC in the field of competition has been formalized by the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation signed in 2018, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding on Competition Policy and Antitrust Regulation of 2021. Information Support Section of the EEC Organizational Support and Protocol Department