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Swiss-Chinese Competition Law at SML

On 31 October 2016, the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) had the privilege of welcoming a high-level Chinese delegation of 21 officials from antitrust and other regulatory bodies from Shanghai, who came to take part in a workshop and a general exchange of information. Discussion points centered on the challenges facing competition law legislators and regulators. Other topics included potential collaborative projects in the field of continuing education in the Chinese market.

Dean André Haelg welcomes Shi Yaotian, Director of the Shanghai Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau.

The goal of Swiss-Chinese Competition Law Day, a one-day event chaired by Professor Patrick Krauskopf (SML), was to share information on Swiss competition law enforcement with the Chinese delegation. The exchange of mutual experiences was indicative of the broad scope of learning on both sides. In his opening remarks, Professor André Haelg, Dean of the SML, emphasized the relevance of international compliance efforts and the collaboration between regulators and the SML: “With its main partner at the UN, the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development UNCATD, the SML has built a strong partnership in Competition Law and Policy. Projects with UNCTAD are aimed at establishing best practices.” The Shanghai delegates stressed the importance of learning continuously: “Shanghai anti-monopoly law enforcement agencies have made progress in establishing the foundation of competition policy. To learn continuously from advanced international experience is an important means to promote the anti-monopoly law enforcement work. I look forward to our cooperation in the spring of next year to bear fruit.” Dr. Lei Zhang from SINOTECH added: “With its growing importance in the global economy, China is building up its competition policy from scratch. I sincerely believe today’s exchange between the Shanghai delegation and this renowned Swiss law school will lead to a fruitful, long-term collaboration and ultimately contribute to a strong bilateral relationship.”

Competition Law: “The Swiss Experience”
Dr. Felix Schraner (SML) gave the participants an overview of the development of Swiss competition law since its introduction and also discussed the intended regulatory goals of the competition law amendment, which had failed to achieve ratification by the Federal Council in 2014. He also highlighted some areas of weakness by stating that “the institutional framework of COMCO and some substantive rules need modernization.” Dr. Daniel Schiess (Swiss Competition Commission) illustrated the challenges facing regulatory procedures: “Our current enforcement instruments are highly effective, but successful international cooperation between authorities is increasingly important.” Patrick Krauskopf (SML) discussed the opportunities and risks of private enforcement: “There is still a lot to do in order to provide victims of cartel infringements with effective tools to claim their losses.”

Continuing Education: Joint Projects with China
Both sides showed a high level of interest in exploring potential areas of collaboration between the SML and Chinese regulators in the field of competition law. Dr. Fabio Babey (SML), Director of Studies for the Certificate of Advanced Studies in International Competition Law and Compliance, explained the modular structure and the international focus of this program, making it well-suited for expansion into the Chinese market. “An extension of the CAS program to China would bring benefits to China, Switzerland, and especially the participants.” With a view to repeating Swiss-Chinese Competition Day, Professor Jens Lehne (SML) emphasized the SML’s interest in developing closer ties between both sides: “I hope that today’s meeting is a starting point for further exchanges between your authorities and our university.”

Contact: Patrick Krauskopf, Center for Competition and Commercial Law

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