Developing Competition Law within the ASEAN Economic Community

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A photo of Andrea Gideon speaking at the ASEAN conference in Singapore.

Research funded by the EW Barker Centre for Law & Business (Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore), with Dr Andrea Gideon, Liverpool Law School, as Co-investigator, and Dr Burton Ong, EWBCLB, as Principal Investigator, explores the development of competition law within the ASEAN Economic Community.

The team have undertaken two iterations of the ASEAN Competition Compliance Experience Survey-Study (ACCESS), which has surveyed 105 and 220 practitioners respectively across ASEAN. The results of this were discussed at a competition agency workshop, as well as at two stakeholder workshops, last month.

The most recent workshop (16 March 2023), brought together 14 competition law experts from the ASEAN region and Japan, to discuss the findings of the EWBCLB’s ACCESS project. Informed by the ACCESS findings, the participants examined the similarities and differences between the merger and anti-cartel laws of six ASEAN Member States. After this comparative exercise, the participants explored the prospects of greater convergence between the merger and anti-cartel laws of the ASEAN Member States.

A big group of attendees stood in front of a collection of trees.

At the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in September 2022, negotiations between ASEAN Member States (AMSs) commenced to develop a formal cooperation agreement that would facilitate cross-border cooperation and coordination on competition law and policy matters among AMSs.

On 17 March 2023, the EW Barker Centre for Law & Business (EWBCLB) organised the Competition Law in the ASEAN Economic Community Conference at National University of Singapore, Law. This conference aimed to explore the opportunities and challenges faced by the ASEAN Economic Community in achieving substantive convergence or harmonisation between the competition laws of the ASEAN Member States.

A group of three academics in the conference room.

Competition law experts from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, presented on the prospects of achieving pro-harmonisation reforms to their respective national competition law frameworks, focussing on two of the most obvious areas of legal convergence: anti-cartel laws and merger control. The conference was attended by 30 participants, including competition law practitioners, competition enforcement agency officers, corporate counsel, academics, and students.


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