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Heads of ASEAN Competition Authorities Convened its First Meeting – Affirming its Commitment to Strengthen Regional Cooperation on Competition Policy and Law

11 October 2021

11 October 2021 – The Heads of ASEAN Competition Authorities met today to discuss the progress and developments of regional cooperation on competition policy and law in ASEAN. The Heads noted the completion of the Mid-Term Review of the ASEAN Competition Action Plan 2025 early this year, and the progress of the implementation of the AEGC Key Deliverables for 2021 which are the updating of the ASEAN Regional Capacity Building Roadmap 2021-2025 and the development of Recommendations on Substantive as well as Procedural Standards in Competition Policy and Law Enforcement for ASEAN.

In his opening remarks, Mr Kodrat Wibowo highlighted the theme of Indonesia’s AEGC Chairmanship on Safeguarding Competition Policy for Economic Recovery. Covid-19 has brought about unprecedented challenges and disruptions to millions of lives around the world, including the ASEAN region. However, ASEAN still struggles with differences in legal framework and procedures, particularly in exchanging information. He then highlighted the importance of developing the Guidelines for Sharing Merger Cases and the subsequent setting-up of the ASEAN Information Portal on Merger Cases – which serves as one of the initial steps towards enhancing competition enforcement cooperation to effectively deal with cross-border commercial transactions.

In addition to the Guidelines for Sharing Merger Cases, the Leads took note of the progress of developing the ASEAN Investigation Manual on Competition Policy and Law for the Digital Economy - which serves as the Annual AEGC Key Deliverable for 2022, as well as deliberated on the implementation plan of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), and the competition initiatives under the ASEAN Work Plan for the Implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on e-Commerce.

Indonesia presented the outcomes of its lead driven Study on the Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic and Economic Recovery to Competition Law and Policy’. Mr Wibowo explains that the main objective is to set ASEAN’s commitment to contribute more for economic recovery, and to highlight the role and significant importance of competition policy and law to the economic recovery. The Study stipulates recommendations for the consideration of ASEAN Competition Authorities.

Cambodia also updated the progress of enacting its Competition Law, with the Law expected to be promulgated before the end of the year. The Heads of Agencies of ASEAN Competition Authorities congratulated Cambodia on the achievement being the last ASEAN Member States to enact its competition law, and reinforced its support towards the implementation of the law.