For ASEAN to be a competitive region with well-functioning markets, rules on competition will need to be operational and effective. The fundamental goal of CPL is to provide a level playing field for all firms, regardless of ownership. Enforceable competition rules that proscribe anti-competitive activities are an important way to facilitate liberalisation and a unified market and production base, as well as to support the formation of a more competitive and innovative region.
The ACAP which will guide the work of the AEGC for the next 10 years contains the following strategic measures:
- Establish effective competition regimes by putting in place competition laws for all remaining ASEAN Member States that do not have them, and effectively implement national competition laws in all ASEAN Member States based on international best practices and agreed-upon ASEAN guidelines;
- Strengthen capacities of competition-related agencies in ASEAN Member States by establishing and implementing institutional mechanisms necessary for effective enforcement of national competition laws, including comprehensive technical assistance and capacity building;
- Foster a “competition-aware” region that supports fair competition, by establishing platforms for regular exchange and engagement, encouraging competition compliance and enhanced access to information for businesses, reaching out to relevant stakeholders through an enhanced regional web portal for competition policy and law, outreach and advocacy to businesses and government bodies, and sector-studies on industry structures and practices that affect competition;
- Establish Regional Cooperation Arrangements on competition policy and law by establishing competition enforcement cooperation agreements to effectively deal with cross-border commercial transaction;
- Achieve greater harmonisation of competition policy and law in ASEAN by developing a regional strategy on convergence;
- Ensure alignment of competition policy chapters that are negotiated by ASEAN under the various FTAs with Dialogue Partners and other trading nations with competition policy and law in ASEAN to maintain consistency on the approach to competition policy and law in the region; and
- Continue to enhance competition policy and law in ASEAN taking into consideration international best practices.
An implementation schedule is attached to the action plan that list out specific targets and action lines for the first 5 years of the implementation of the ACAP.
In 2020, the AEGC undertook a mid-term review of the ACAP 2025, following its five-year implementation. The Review found that 37% of the deliverables under the ACAP 2025 have been completed and 46% are ongoing and continuing deliverables. The updated ACAP 2025 can be accessed here.