This material has been published in The Regionalisation of Competition Law and Policy within the ASEAN Economic Community edited by Burton Ong. doi:10.1017/9781108182058. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © 2018 Burton Ong.
Competition policy plays a central role in making markets operate more efficiently – prohibiting or eliminating conduct that might impede effective competition, thereby making markets more dynamic and improving consumer welfare. If the competition framework is implemented on a larger scale, expanding from a single jurisdiction to a regional level, the economic benefits generated are correspondingly more significant if the regional competition policy is used to complement regional trade policies that seek to establish common markets or free trade areas across multiple states. Competition law scholars support the view that regionalising competition policy can advance economic development objectives, facilitating regional market integration between developing countries.The member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have recognised the nexus between competition policy and the establishment of a regional common market – the ASEAN Economic Community – and have chosen to adopt a regional competition policy as an instrument to advance their collective economic interests. This chapter will provide a structured overview of the main actors and instruments connected to the regionalisation of competition policy within these countries, analysing the objectives underlying these efforts while proposing the direction future developments in this area might take.
Section 1.2 will introduce the ASEAN region, while Section 1.3 critically examines the original ASEAN Blueprint and the various implementing instruments that spawned from it, including the regional competition policy guidelines developed to facilitate the introduction of national competition
law frameworks in the ASEAN member states. Section 1.4 looks at the ASEAN Blueprint 2025, which was published after the ASEAN Economic Community was established in 2015, along with the regional action plan for developing competition policy in ASEAN over the course of the next decade. Section 1.5 provides a summary of how the different issues arising from the regionalisation of competition policy in the ASEAN region will be specifically addressed in each of the other chapters of this book.