Chairperson of the Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam (CCBD) Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii commended the ASEAN Heads of Competition Agencies (AHCA), ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC) and ASEAN Secretariat on the successful development of the Guiding Principles for Negotiating the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Competition (AFAC), which serves as a basis to launch the negotiations of the agreement.
Nik Hafimi, the Chair of the AHCA for 2022, made these remarks at the third AHCA meeting held via video conference on October 17.
The launch of the negotiations in August 2022 reaffirmed ASEAN’s commitment to develop and consolidate a regional strategy that will be fair, dynamic, innovative, and competitive for the business environment in the region.
The meeting deliberated on the next steps for negotiating the AFAC.
The AFAC, once completed, aims to strengthen cross-border cooperation and engagements between competition agencies, internalise competition policy into national and regional economic policies, and enhance regional enforcement of competition.
At the meeting, the heads noted on the endorsement of the AHCA Joint Statement on maintaining the competitive policy in the context of economic recovery.
The joint statement underlines the importance of competition policy in supporting economic recovery and acknowledged that closer governmental engagement is critical to facilitate economic recovery.
The meeting also discussed progress and developments of regional cooperation on competition policy and law in ASEAN including the implementation of the AEGC key deliverables for 2022 – the ASEAN investigation manual on competition policy and law for the digital economy and the guidelines for sharing merger cases.
The 29th AEGC meeting and related meetings ran from October 17 to 21 virtually.