Cambodia officially launches the National Dissemination Workshop on Competition Law under the theme “Promoting Fair and Honest Business Relations: Economic Efficiency and Consumer Welfare”
Phnom Penh, 17 March 2022: Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) of the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) organized the Official Launch of the National Dissemination Workshop on Competition Law under the theme " Promoting Fair and Honest Business Relations: Economic Efficiency and Consumer Welfare ". The workshop was officially inaugurated under the presidency of H.E. Tekreth Kamrang, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce, on behalf of High Representative of H.E. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Cambodia Competition Commission “CCC” with the participation of Dr. Angelika Stauder, First Secretary of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cambodia, Frank Tibitanzl, Project Director of “Promotion of Competitiveness within the Framework of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (COMPETE)” of the German International Cooperation (GIZ), and Frank Jattke, ASEAN Project Team Leader of “COMPETE PROJECT” of the German International Cooperation (GIZ), as well as about 300 other national and international guests from relevant ministries and institutions who participated physically and virtually.
Today's workshop aims to raise awareness among stakeholders about the mission of the Competition Law which promotes honest competition, creates a level playing field between businesses and protects consumers’ interests after this law was signed and promulgated by the His Majesty on 5 October 2021. By enacting the Competition Law, Cambodia has fulfilled its obligations in accordance with two main international frameworks: (1) The commitment to establish the Competition Law in 2006 as part of the negotiations to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2004 and (2) The commitment to establish competition policies and laws in all ASEAN Member States by 2015.
To make the implementation of the Law on Competition highly effective, CCF as a law enforcement agency has completed the preparation of important legal documents under this law including Sub-Decree on the Organization and Functioning of Cambodia Competition Commission, Prakas on the Appointment of Investigating Officers Under Competition Law, Prakas on Formalities and Procedures for the Selection of Independent Members of Cambodia Competition Commission, Decision on the Establishment of the Selection Committee of Independent Members of Cambodia Competition Commission for the First Mandate.
For the first three-month plan of 2022, CCF is preparing the important draft legal documents under this law including Sub-Decree on the Conditions and Procedures of Business Combination, Inter-Ministerial Prakas on the Provision of the Status as Judicial Police Officials, Prakas on the Formalities and Procedures for Inspection and Investigation under the Law on Competition, Prakas on the Negotiation Procedures under the Law on Competition, Internal Rules of the Cambodia Competition Commission.
At the same time, CCF of the Ministry of Commerce also published an announcement of the selection of CCC members including one former judge, two legal practitioners and two economists to the public who are interested in becoming a member of the CCC in accordance with the requirements as stated in the announcement, to apply for membership of the CCC at CCF as the Secretariat of the CCC.
CCF of the Ministry of Commerce had organized a training for capacity building for officials of CCF focusing on key topics such as General Context of Competition Law, Horizontal Agreement, Vertical Agreement, Abuse of Dominant Market Position, and Business Combination supported by the COMPETE project of the German International Cooperation (GIZ). In the work of raising awareness of the Law on Competition, CCF organized a workshop to disseminate the Law on Competition to the public today and plan to disseminate the Law on Competition in the 25 municipalities and provinces, as well as distribute the booklets of Competition Law to all ministries, institutions, departments, capitals, provinces, NGOs, and embassies.
In this workshop, H.E. Tekreth Kamrang, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce, said “In this modern era, competition has become the basis of the market economy. At the same time, effective enforcement of competition law will promote a level playing field between Persons conducting business in the market by establishing "Rules of the Game" even if the Persons conducting business are small, medium, or large companies or enterprises. In this sense, to be successful in the market or to have more customers, Persons conducting business need to strengthen their capabilities by providing goods or services with low-cost, high-quality, a wide range of choices, especially new innovative ideas to customers or consumers.”
"It is important to note that, this newly enacted law is not only meant to ensure that the markets are more open and freer, but hugely benefits consumers by encouraging enterprises to improve quality, create a greater choice of goods and services, and keep prices low," said Dr. Angelika Stauder.
Representative of the ASEAN Secretariat also congratulated Cambodia (via short video) on the occasion of the enactment of its Competition Law on 5 October 2021 and was pleased that the competition laws are now in place in all the 10 ASEAN Member States to ensure fair competition in the region and also to provide many benefits for ASEAN as a whole such as: (1) Promote level playing field for all levels of enterprises in the ASEAN region, such as small and medium enterprises, start-ups, as well as large companies, and create job opportunities in the region (2) Competition law is important to complement the implementation of economic, industrial, financial, and labor policies by maximizing benefits and potential of these policies. The competition law will provide consumers more choices, lower prices as well as better goods and services, especially to more than 650 million ASEAN people who will directly benefit from the implementation of competition policies and laws and (3). Many studies have shown that countries with high levels of effective competition law will soon recover after the economic crisis, especially the competition law which is the part of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework which was designed to expedite the region’s recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic in the ASEAN region and in the globe.
This workshop is an important event for the Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) of the Ministry of Commerce, which is fulfilling its enforcement role in accordance with the law to be more effective, transparent, and fair to all businesses to make the economy more flexible and resilient during and after the global crisis of Covid-19.