The Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam’s (CCBD) efforts and progress in implementing Brunei’s Competition Order was applauded by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) during a virtual workshop entitled “Competition Workshop for Younger Competition Agencies – First Steps” held last month.

The progress of competition law implementation in Brunei Darussalam including the enforcement of Anti-Competitive Agreements prohibition, the development of the effective legal framework and the efforts on advocacy, was shared by the Chairperson of CCBD, Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi Abdul Haadii in her keynote speech.

The one-day virtual workshop, co-organised by the CCBD and the OECD, Korea Policy Centre (KPC) under the OECD/KPC Competition Programme, was targeted at young competition agencies in ASEAN with the aim of facilitating knowledge and experience sharing on the first necessary steps of implementing and enforcing competition law. 

The workshop has brought together more than 20 officials from young competition agencies in the region including the CCBD; Myanmar Competition Commission; Lao Business Competition Commission; and the Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression of Cambodia (CCF).

Image: Courtesy of Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam

In her welcoming remarks, Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi underscored the importance of the workshop in aiding young competition agencies in building their capacity to effectively implement and enforce competition law towards achieving the overall goals of improving economic efficiency and consumer welfare.

The workshop which was led by Professor William Kovacic from the George Washington University explored five major implementation tasks for young competition agencies which include strengthening institutional framework; strategic priority-setting and project selection; impactful project delivery; strong external engagement; and frequent assessment and refinement.

He emphasised on having the right foundation for young competition agencies to ensure effective and efficient competition law implementation.

Participants of the workshop were also provided with insights on the early days’ experiences of the Philippines Competition Commission (PCC)’s competition law implementation. 

For his part, Chairman of PCC Arsenio Balisacan shared that the PCC leverage on technical assistance from development partners to build its resources. 

This has enabled the PCC to scale up and build its enforcement capacity by learning from experiences of more matured competition agencies, he said in a statement. Equally important is the buy-in from the whole government in order to achieve the common objective of a competitive marketplace.

The workshop concluded with closing remarks from Senior Competition Expert of OECD Ruben Maximiano, with a positive note to further strengthen the collaboration in the competition-related area between the OECD and ASEAN. 

The OECD/KPC Competition Programme provides a hub for competition officials to exchange experiences and deepen their capacities in competition law and policy through workshops and seminars. – Analisa Amu

This article was first published on January 9, 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 123

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 

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