ASEAN Completes its First Voluntary Peer Review Exercise
21 October 2022 – The Plenary Meeting for the Pilot Peer Review of Malaysia’s Competition Commission (MyCC’s) Competition Advocacy Activities was held virtually following the successful undertaking of the inaugural ASEAN Voluntary Peer Review, which is consistent with deliverable 1.2.3 of the ASEAN Competition Action Plan (ACAP) 2025. The Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC), Mr Iskandar Ismail in his remarks reiterated that MyCC is the first Competition Authority to volunteer for the pilot peer review, contributing to ASEAN’s mission of attaining a level-playing field for all firms through an effective competition policy.
Despite the obstacle brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic which delayed the completion of the exercise, the Peer Review Report has been completed following extensive desk research, interviews and discussions, dissemination of questionnaires involving businesses, the appeal tribunal, academia, SOEs and sector regulators, and carried out with the support of consultants over the period of 2.5 years.
The Plenary Meeting which was participated by ASEAN Members States (AMS), a set of Peer Review Team, the ASEAN Secretariat, and a team of consultants, deliberated on the findings, key recommendations and takeaway points from the exercise.
The findings found that MyCC has achieved considerable progress on building awareness of competition law throughout the years since its inception. To further strengthen MyCC’s advocacy efforts, the exercise found among others the need for continued intensified media campaigns, tailoring advocacy and communication materials to be more targeted to specific stakeholder groups, simplification of messages, and undertaking regular assessments of its advocacy programmes.
The Meeting enabled AMS to learn from each other’s experiences, share best practices and perspectives on encountered common issues, and helped to deepen regional cooperation arrangements amongst AMS. The exercise has also helped to identify ways to improve the overall peer review exercise - to better select the methodology to be pursued, identify solutions to challenges presented throughout the peer reviewed process, and to obtain results that would best assist the peer reviewed country to strengthen their competition law frameworks.
Ms. Hajah Rena Azlina Dato Haji Abdul Aziz, Head of Executive Secretariat of CCBD, and AEGC Chair thank the MyCC for its commitment and leadership in undertaking the first Voluntary ASEAN Peer Review Exercise which is vital as it will not only enable AMS to assess the effectiveness of their national competition regimes or a selected function of their regimes, but will also be used to assess whether the Peer Review Guidance Document is effective and practical.
The ASEAN Peer Review mechanism was formulated to be flexible to cater to the peer reviewed country’s circumstances, developmental stage, and priorities. In-line with the ACAP 2025, the AEGC will need to undertake two voluntary peer reviews of selected competition regimes in ASEAN by 2025.
The Peer Review Exercise is supported by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), under the project entitled "Technical Assistance for ASEAN Competition Authorities to Strengthen Competition Law Enforcement in ASEAN region – Second Phase".