Tuesday, December 21, 2021

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Jakarta (11/10) – Chairman of the Indonesia Competition Commission (ICC), Kodrat Wibowo, presided over a virtual session/meeting among the Heads of All ASEAN competition agencies in Jakarta today. Kodrat called on the heads of the authorities to issue a joint commitment with regard to the harmonization of the role or contribution of competition for the regional economic recovery as well as improve coordination in the exchange of data/information on mergers and acquisitions in the meeting called the ASEAN Heads of Competition Agencies Meeting 2021.

Indonesi particularly ICC is the Chairman of the ASEAN Competition Agencies (ASEAN Experts Group on Competition) and takes the leadership theme, “Safeguarding Competition Policy for Economic Recovery” this year. As part of the said leadership, ICC held a meeting of the Heads of Competition Agencies to discuss various strategic issues in the region, among other things, the enhancement of the role of competition laws and policies during the economic recovery period and the improvement of coordination in competition law enforcement, particularly mergers and acquisitions in ASEAN. ICC raised the results of a study conducted towards the actions of the competition agencies during the pandemic period and economic recovery in the said meeting attended by all the heads of the ASEAN competition agencies.

Based on the results of the study, the Chairman of ICC underscored the importance of 6 (six) actions of the competition agencies in harmonizing the role of competition laws and policies in the context of the national and regional economic recovery. The six actions include the following:

  1. ASEAN competition agencies should direct their law enforcement to strategic industries and markets that are important for the economic recovery, relax law enforcement against sectors that serve as engines of growth, and simplify the notification of mergers and acquisitions in order to facilitate business consolidation.
  2. ASEAN competition agencies should enhance advocacy for policy makers on various government interventions, especially from the earlier stage so that in conducting the interventions, the governments always take the balance of achieving governments’ short-term goals in the economic recovery and long-term benefits of competition into account.
  3. ASEAN competition agencies should provide advices and considerations actively with regard to the structural reform regulations or policies by the governments in order to boost the reform in favor of fair business competition.
  4. ASEAN competition agencies should improve their supervision of mergers and acquisitions that can disrupt the economic recovery that use the economic recovery reasons to justify a transaction and develop an information exchange mechanism or joint platform among competition agencies with regard to the notification of mergers and acquisitions.
  5. ASEAN competition agencies should continue improving national and regional capacities actively in assessing digital markets and promoting interactions with related governments and regulators in order to monitor the said markets.
  6. ASEAN competition agencies should enhance the dissemination of the importance of competition policies for the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mechanisms so as to prevent the abuse of SMEs by large enterprises.

The said six recommendations for action will become a joint statement among the heads of the ASEAN competition agencies and will be used to complement the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. In addition to the above, the Chairman of ICC has co-explored opportunities for exhaustive exchange of information on mergers and acquisitions in a joint platform so that coordination efforts and the prevention of market concentration in the ASEAN region can be enhanced.