The 1st ASEAN – EU Competition Week Convened
Competition officials from ASEAN and the EU gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 1st ASEAN – EU Competition Week. The Competition Week, which was held from 24 - 28 June 2019, provided a platform for competition authorities to develop a common understanding on competition law developments and challenges faced in both regions, to identify the most effective methods in combating and deterring anti-competitive practices, as well as to strengthen cooperation in the field of competition law.
The Chairman of the Malaysia Competition Commission, Dato' Seri Mohd Hishamudin Md Yunus, in his remarks states “…it is commendable to note that EU together with ASEAN, have taken the initiative to bring together this competition week to help investigators in the ASEAN region, who are relatively new to competition laws, learn the skills from not only the more experienced jurisdictions like the EU, but also from experienced economists who have had years of experience analysing cases using competition economics."
The first four days of the Competition Week were closed-door sessions participated by ASEAN and EU Competition officials, while the fifth and last day was open to all relevant stakeholders including businesses and the media. Issues discussed includes procedural fairness, merger assessments, subsidies and state owned enterprises, regional cooperation, and competition issues in the digital economy.
In the closing remarks, H.E Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs mentioned “…The inaugural project will be a beginning of bilateral commitment between the two regions to strengthen the competition policy as a tool to serve the interests of consumers and the economy. This is evident as demonstrated with all areas of competition policy covered in the project, including but not limited to procedures restrictive agreements, cartels, abuse of dominance, mergers, State-Owned Enterprises and State Aid. I believe the action of exchanging ideas and practices between competition authorities and experts from the two powerhouses will have positive ripple effects on the economy as a whole.”
H.E. Mr Francisco Fontan Pardo, Ambassador of the EU to ASEAN informs that the EU-ASEAN Competition Week is part of a five-year ASEAN – EU Collaboration Project, which includes an annual summer school programme and a visitors’ programme, which have thus far been successfully organised and implemented.
The 1st ASEAN – EU Competition Week was hosted by the Malaysia Competition Commission and supported by the ASEAN Secretariat and the Directorate-General of Competition of the European Commission. The 2nd ASEAN-EU Competition Week is scheduled to be held in February 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand.