Myanmar Prepares for Competition Law and Policy

Chiang Mai/Berlin – A training course on Competition Policy and Law (CPL) for senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and other related institutions was held at the Chiang Mai University from 19-29 May. With a view towards improving the understanding about the benefits of fair business competition, the training served to substantiate the ongoing national consultations about the draft competition law in Myanmar.

With reference to regional and international good practices, the training discussed the main provisions of competition laws and considerations for a suitable institutional set-up. It also explained the different roles of the government, judiciary, private sector and civil society in the effective implementation of competition law. Aside from the MoC, representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, the University of Yangon and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) took part in the training. Moreover, the ASEAN Secretariat presented the updates on the progress of the regional cooperation in competition policy in ASEAN.

As part of their commitment towards the imminent realization of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the ASEAN Member States are committed to the introduction of competition policy nation-wide by 2015. The ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC) was established in 2007 as a regional forum for the exchange of experiences on CPL. To date, however, a comprehensive competition law is in place only in five countries, with Myanmar one of those currently drafting a competition legislation.

The transfer of knowledge from more experienced competition regimes in the region is deemed highly valuable, particularly for the CLM countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar).

With funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the GIZ-assisted project “Competition Policy and Law in ASEAN” has been supporting ASEAN Member States in their efforts to introduce and implement competition policy since 2011.

The training was supported by the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It was facilitated by lecturers from the Law and Economics Faculties of Chiang Mai University as well as Mr. David Fruitman, a competition expert with the law firm DFDL who is based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is envisaged that a similar training will be organized for officials from Lao PDR, which is also preparing a competition law, in July 2014.

Photo: ASEAN Secretariat