Baker McKenzie, in partnership with the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO), held a seminar for Japanese businesses in Bangkok entitled "Doing Business in Thailand and the Competition Law: What Business Operators Should Know," with a panel of speakers consisting of trade competition specialists from the Office of the Trade Competition Commission and Baker McKenzie Trade Competition Practice.
Following the opening by Mr. Taguchi Yusuke, Senior Investment Advisor/Director of Investment Cooperation Department of JETRO, Mr. Nynnart Gherdlarppon, Legal Officer of the Office of the Trade Competition Commission gave an overview of the Thai Trade Competition Act of 2017 and key competition elements, such as abuse of dominant position, business combinations that lessen competition, and unfair trade practice.
Head of Baker McKenzie's Trade Competition practice group, and former member of the NLA Ad-Hoc Committee Considering the Trade Competition Act, Pornapa Luengwattanakit highlighted key issues that business operators need to know to ensure compliance with the competition law, including how businesses should treat their trading partners to avoid unfair trade practices, the responsibilities of dominant business operators, and how market dominance is defined. Recognizing the active enforcement of the law within the space of a little over two years since the Thai Trade Competition Act of 2017 came into force, a panel discussion led by Ampika Kumar, Baker McKenzie's Trade Competition partner, also discussed enforcement trends and recommendations on how businesses can prepare for surprise investigations.
“Under the new regime of Trade Competition Act, the Office of Trade Competition (OTCC) is an independent government agency. They are quite active in investigating and enforcing the law. Complaints under the old regime have been revisited and current trade conducts are closely monitored. We can expect more cases being investigated and prosecuted in the near future," commented Pornapa.