The 2019 ICN Advocacy Workshop was hosted in Kyiv. Under the theme of “Competition Advocacy: from Barriers to Prosperity,” the two-day event gathered more than 100 competition officials, advocacy professionals, lawyers, economists and academics from about 60 enforcement agencies and organizations. It was co-organized by the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) and the Advocacy Working Group (AWG) co-chairs, i.e. Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA), Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) and Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS). AMCU Chairman Yuriy Terentiev and HKCC Senior Executive Director Rasul Butt delivered the opening remarks to welcome participants. Representing the co-chairs, Butt gave a brief overview of the work that has been done by the Working Group in 2018-19, including three main work-streams on (1) Advocacy Strategy, (2) Advocacy and Digital Markets and (3) Impact Assessment. With continued, firm support from member agencies and NGAs on those projects, the Working Group has been able to carry out its mission to improve the effectiveness of ICN members in advocating competition principles and to promote the development of a competition culture.

The Workshop began with five competition and advocacy experts sharing their insights on formulating a successful and effective advocacy strategy in the first plenary. It was followed by the second session “Bridging Competition Advocacy and Enforcement” in which speakers talked about how to foster competition culture through advocacy to enhance enforcement impact with cases from their jurisdictions. On the second day, the Workshop continued with the discussion on competition assessment in the policy development process. To conclude the Workshop, recognized experts from the ICN, OECD, the World Bank Group and UNCTAD came together to discuss practical ways for the competition agencies to assist and cooperate with each other in the last plenary “Advocating International Best Practices”.

The Workshop also consisted of nine break-out sessions, enabling lively discussions following up on various aspects of the matters that were more broadly debated in the plenaries, such as advocacy in the digital era, traditional and social media as well as inter-agency collaboration. In addition, these more focused discussions also covered topics that are highly relevant to the current advocacy challenges facing the competition authorities in Ukraine and the region, including issues in relation to natural monopoly, adjacent market, state-owned enterprises and privatization process.