The German agency GIZ will support the implementation of the “law on competition” in the Kingdom

With the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale (GIZ), the General Directorate for Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Prevention (CCF) of the Ministry of Commerce is preparing to disseminate information to ministries, companies and other relevant stakeholders on March 17, 2022.

The forum will highlight the rationale and key provisions of the law, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the governing bodies. It is expected to launch a series of outreach activities with the business and legal community, as well as the general public, to build understanding and compliance with the new law.

Frank Jattke, ASEAN team leader for GIZ, believes that a fairly administered landscape for competition will be a key driver for the Cambodian economy. Speaking to the Khmer Times, Jattke said, “It has been demonstrated in other ASEAN member states that competition can play a vital role in economic development and ensure that consumers get value for their money. .

However, without a regulatory framework for fair competition, unfair business practices, such as the abuse of monopolistic positions, price fixing and exclusivity, can act as barriers to market entry for businesses, limiting in turn consumer choice and well-being.

As such, Cambodia signed and enacted its competition law late last year, bringing competition laws to all 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS), as planned under the 2025 Blueprint. of the ASEAN Economic Community.

The enactment of this law not only satisfies one of Cambodia’s obligations to ASEAN, but also fulfills a crucial commitment under free trade agreements, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which entered into force earlier this year.

To support this, GIZ worked in Cambodia to raise awareness of competition law through the project “Promoting Competitiveness under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration” (COMPETE), funded by the Ministry German Federal Agency for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The COMPETE project is linked to the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) which aims to narrow the development gap between ASEAN member states and focuses on channeling aid to the Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

Among others, a priority is to “remove barriers to trade in services and establish more effective competition regimes (as) two key elements of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in order to create a market and promote cross-border trade” for the benefit of businesses and consumers.

In this context, GIZ advises on the implementation of key policy documents in the areas of competition policy and trade in services, with specific support at national level to strengthen legal frameworks and institutional capacities.

With seven chapters and 41 articles, the Competition Act aligns with international best practice and covers the main areas of competition law, namely anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive business combinations. The law applies to all persons engaging in business activities, or any action supporting business activities, that significantly prevents, restricts or distorts competition in any market in the country.

James R. Rhodes