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Way Forward For ASEAN Competition

16 March 2017

Selangor, 12 March 2017 – As ASEAN turns 50, the 7th ASEAN Competition Conference (7th ACC) highlighted the various achievements in strengthening the competition environment in the region. Nine ASEAN Member States have enacted their competition laws, with growing awareness of the importance of a more level playing field in enhancing the competitiveness of ASEAN businesses and to promote economic growth. Moving ahead, ASEAN’s recent adoption of the ASEAN Competition Action Plan (2016-2025) or the ACAP 2025, serves as a guide to strengthen the work on competition over the next 10 years. As ASEAN marks its 50th Anniversary and the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC), it looks forward to another strong decade of economic growth, supported by effective competition regimes.

The 7th ACC with the theme “ASEAN@50: Managing Change in a Competitive ASEAN” was held from 8-9 March 2017, in Selangor, Malaysia. “There is a strong correlation between effective enforcement of competition policy and long-term economic growth, and the post-2015 ASEAN Economic Community will see steps towards greater alignment of competition law, resulting in closer and effective cooperation among competition authorities in ASEAN”, says YB Dato’ Henry Sum Agong, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, Malaysia.

Mr. Khouanchay Iemsouthi, Chair of the AEGC, highlighted that the year 2016 marks the first year of the implementation of the ACAP 2025. The AEGC is committed to ensuring timely implementation of the 5 strategic goals, 20 outcomes and 41 outputs under the ACAP 2025, which builds on the achievements of the AEGC in the last decade, and paves the way for a more robust and effective competition policy and law regime in ASEAN.

The Conference covered a range of issues, including the emergence of new technologies which are potential for growth but could also pose challenges for competition authorities, including understanding the nexus between regulations and competition, and ensuring a balance that works for consumers and for competitive markets. There is also a need to better advocate the principles of fair competition amongst Micro, Small, and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), and to put in place a regional cooperation framework that would strengthen cooperation among ASEAN Member States. A regional cooperation framework will assist in combatting cross-border anti-competitive conduct, which could emerge following the integration of the ASEAN market.

The 7th ACC was organized by the AEGC and hosted by the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC). It is supported under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP) and by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, upon commission of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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