Call to maintain competition within construction sector

|     Syazwani Hj Rosli     |

MAINTAINING competition within the construction sector is integral to ensure efficient and sustainable growth to achieve the goals of Brunei Vision 2035, said Chairman of the Competition Commission of Brunei Darussalam Dato Paduka Eddie bin Dato Paduka Haji Sunny.

He made this statement during the opening ceremony of an ASEAN competition law workshop at The Rizqun International Hotel yesterday.

“A competitive market is expected to lead to more choices in terms of products and services as well as competitive prices for consumers,” he added.

Dato Paduka Eddie said the construction sector plays an important role in the socio-economic development of a country.

“Not only does it build and maintain the structure and infrastructure on which every other industry depends, it is also a major employer in many countries,” he said.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman and Chairman of the Competition Commission of Brunei Darussalam Dato Paduka Eddie bin Dato Paduka Haji Sunny in a group photo. – PHOTOS: SYAZWANI HJ ROSLI

Dato Paduka Eddie addresses the event

He added that the ASEAN construction sector is set to grow by 6.1 per cent yearly on average in the next five years.

“It is critical to build knowledge among authorities and sector regulators to ensure that the business environment in the construction sector is functioning efficiently and free from anti-competitive activity to guarantee optimal returns to the economy,” he said.

The chairman said competition laws and policies are essential to the institutional and regulatory framework needed for ASEAN member states to address current market challenges.

“These two components are needed to achieve ASEAN’s economic cooperation and integration goals as well as to drive growth in Brunei and the region,” he added.

Fifty construction sector officials – including members of competition authorities and regulators – from the 10 ASEAN member states attended the event.

The workshop was organised by the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE), Ministry of Finance and Economy through the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs in collaboration with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat with the support of the ASEAN-Australia – New Zealand Free Trade Economic Cooperation Work Programme.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman, members of the Competition Commission of Brunei Darussalam and senior officials from the Attorney General’s Chambers were also present.

The workshop, facilitated by experts from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, saw the discussion of key elements of competition laws in ASEAN member states and the role of governments in curbing anti-competitive practices.

Case studies and practical examples specific to the construction sector were also presented to help participants understand the application of competition law.

The workshop is part of a series of competition interface workshops of the Competition Law Implementation Programme, managed by the ACCC under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Work Programme.