The ACCC's Competition Law Implementation Program (CLIP) delivers targeted capacity building and technical assistance to Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States to help combat anti-competitive activities in individual markets and the ASEAN region, supported by the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program (AECSP).
CLIP is an important and timely program of economic cooperation that supports ASEAN’s regional goal of building a globally integrated, highly competitive economic region through effective competition laws, enforcement agencies, and enhanced regional cooperation.
ASEAN countries, and Australia, have much to gain by encouraging open and competitive markets and tackling anti-competitive practices.
Lack of competition is understood to harm those in society least able to afford it. Competition law abuses raise prices of necessities, entrench dominant firms and keep entrepreneurs from contesting markets on their merits.
Effective competition laws and institutions are focused on making markets work to grow economies and in support of inclusive development.
When CLIP commenced in 2014, just five of the ten ASEAN Member States had national competition laws in place. By 2019, nine of the ten countries did, with Cambodia being the exception.
During this time, CLIP worked with ASEAN countries to progress efforts to, where relevant, draft, introduce and/or reform the legal and institutional mechanisms necessary for effective competition law implementation.
CLIP draws on the ACCC’s deep experience as a strong enforcer to support policy and law reform, build institutional capacity and raise the quality of law enforcement in the region. CLIP is supported by the Australian and New Zealand aid programs through the ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Economic Cooperation Support Program and managed by the ACCC.
The ASEAN Member States are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Since the commencement of CLIP in 2014 until 2019, CLIP received funding of $7,805,000.
Between October 2014 and December 2019, CLIP conducted a total of 116 activities in 12 countries:
- Phase I - 22 activities
- Phase II - 47 activities
- Phase III - 47 activities
Between October 2014 and December 2019, CLIP delivered 116 activities. Over this time, CLIP has engaged with a wide range of institutions including competition agencies, sector regulators, the judiciary, other ASEAN development partners and academia to support better competition outcomes for consumers and business.
CLIP activities are focused on developing practical skills and knowledge transfer from regulator to regulator.
Workshops are typically delivered by ACCC staff with support from experts and other regional regulators, including from New Zealand, Japan and Singapore. Each workshop is tailored to small groups of ASEAN countries and uses hypothetical exercises and scenarios to develop understanding and skills.
From 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2019, CLIP reached 384 people (48 per cent female and 53 per cent male) through the following activities.
Capacity building workshops (14 total)
- 9 group workshops
- 4 regional workshops
- 1 bilateral workshop
Regional placements (23 total)
- 15 secondments of ASEAN officials to the ACCC and New Zealand competition agencies
- Expert visits and 8 short-term placements of ACCC staff in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
- High-level meetings of competition agency heads and Commissioners
- Six eLearning modules, a toolkit for investigators and four competition primers for ASEAN judges
- Technical and mentoring assitsance from the ACCC to ASEAN countries.
CLIP eLearning has a focus on developing practical skills and knowledge that supports effective enforcement of competition law.
Professionals working in an ASEAN Member State to implement competition law can sign up to complete eLearning modules. If you would like to sign up to the CLIP Academy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLIP Academy modules include:
- Introduction to Competition Law
- Economics for Competition Law
- Introduction to Enforcement
- Investigation and Planning
- Evidence Handling
- Introduction to Mergers
- Market Studies
- Abuse of Dominance
In 2019 the ACCC, with funding under the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program, undertook a project exploring the potential for expanding cooperation with ASEAN on competition law to also encompass consumer protection.
The project delivered research, capacity building and advocacy in relation to the interface of competition and consumer law and confirmed ASEAN demand for agency-to-agency technical cooperation on consumer protection under the AANZFTA Chapter on Competition — including joining up technical assistance for competition and consumer agencies where beneficial.
Beyond this exploratory project the ACCC is undertaking further technical cooperation with ASEAN on consumer protection in 2020. We hope that through this work we can sustain and strengthen our engagement with ASEAN consumer protection counterparts in support of improved consumer and economic welfare in our region.
CLIPPINGS is the newsletter of CLIP and provides updates on the many and varied activities being run in support of competition law implementation in ASEAN. If you would like to receive the CLIP newsletter, please contact email@example.com to be added to the subscription list.