The Government v Competition Law

Mahathir-Proton

In an emerging economy like Malaysia’s, where the government plays a strong role in guiding the national policy, it is without a doubt that the government has the ability to create an uneven playing field.

There are, summarily, two ways this can arise. The first are government regulations and policy. The second is more direct; where the government itself enters the market.

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Competition law and the Asean Economic Community

As the 29th ASEAN Summit in Laos comes to a close, it is worth considering the developmental trends for competition law within the Asean Economic Community.

Back in November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, the AEC Blueprint 2025 was adopted by the ASEAN member states.  The aims of the Asean Economic Community, or AEC, is based upon economic integration and the creation of a single market; ASEAN aims to attain the characteristics we see in the European Union such as the free movement of goods and people, and the reduction or elimination of import tariffs between member states.

It should be noted that rather than an overnight implementation, the adoption of the AEC Blueprint 2025 represents just another step in the gradual introduction of policies facilitating free trade within member states (the first blueprint was adopted in 2007).  Tariffs within ASEAN member states, for instance, are already at virtually 0%.

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