Competition Policy and Law in ASEAN (CPL)
Title: Competition Policy and Law in ASEAN (CPL)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Country: ASEAN region
Overall term: 2015 to 2017
Fair competition is an important element of a market economy. Effective competition policy not only ensures fair market participation for companies, it also protects the interests of consumers. In cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC), as the responsible regional body, this project promotes the introduction and implementation of national competition policies and provides advice on the institutionalisation of regional cooperation mechanisms.
Increasing regional integration and intensified international trade call for a consensus on how to handle cases that impinge on competition across borders within the ASEAN region. At present, however, only five of the ten Member States have adopted a competition law, and just six have established dedicated competition agencies. A regional authority is not foreseen in the near future.
The legal framework and institutional prerequisites for promoting fair, market-oriented competition in the ASEAN Member States have been established or improved.
The project advises its partners in the ASEAN Secretariat and in institutions of the Member States on the effective implementation of competition regulations. To this end the project promotes regional dialogue and greater cooperation between the Member States. It provides support for the creation of institutions responsible for competition policy, and for the continued development of legal frameworks at national level. Increased communications activities related to competition issues are raising awareness on the part of public, private-sector and civil society actors. In addition, the project assists selected Member States such as Laos, Philippines and Viet Nam in the area of consumer protection.
The project builds on the experiences gained through GIZ’s long-standing cooperation with Indonesia, notably with that country’s Commission for the Supervision of Business Competition (KPPU) and the Supreme Court. It is transferring international best practices and encouraging a dialogue between the more advanced countries in the region and those with relatively little experience. In this way, the relevant institutions are learning to deal professionally with country-specific and cross-border competition cases. A further benefit is the gradual levelling of the considerable differences in economic development that exist between the Member States.
Following an earlier project, active exchanges of experience related to competition policy now already occur at the regional level. The AEGC has developed a strategic action plan for 2016-25, setting itself clear targets. It has also taken the first steps to address the challenges arising from the planned ASEAN Economic Community from 2015. Moreover, the AEGC has set up a new website to enhance its outreach and its knowledge management activities.
At the national level, some Member States have become more professional in the way they deal with cases, which is in part due to the use of modern methods of economic analysis. In Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines, drafts for new competition laws are ready for consideration and scheduled for adoption by end of 2015.
At the same time, the project is now supporting its partners in feeding the regional guidelines drawn up in cooperation with the AEGC and the ASEAN Secretariat into national consultation processes, and in assimilating valuable inputs from the individual countries. The close coordination of, and the sharing of work between relevant bilateral projects in the Member States has also encouraged this development.