Australian Embassy
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Km 4, Thadeua Road, Watnak (P.O. Box 292)

Talking Points CLIP Workshop

Talking Points – CLIP Workshop

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, current and future champions all, of a strong competition law and implementing agency in the Lao PDR

I am delighted to be able to join you this morning as you consider an issue that will be pivotal to the long-term competitiveness of the Lao economy.

There’s never been a more important time, I believe, for the Lao PDR to address competition policy, as we look ahead, with anticipation, to the start of the ASEAN Economic Community – the AEC – at the end of next year.

I am confident the Lao PDR will benefit significantly as the barriers to markets continue to fall among, and within, the 10 ASEAN economies.

But this will require more hard work to ensure the Lao PDR is positioned well to benefit from greater regional integration.

An effective competition law and authority, suited to Laos’ circumstances, will be a vital platform on which to build a more robust, competitive Lao economy.

Australia has benefited significantly, over many years from our competition policy regime. And our faith in an open economy, and our ability to trade with the world.

Australia is fortunate to have built a strong institution, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or ACCC, to promote open trade within and outside our borders.

And in this, the year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Australia relations, we can be proud of the work the ACCC is doing across the region to strengthen capacity and networks among competition authorities.

Australia has made a $2 million commitment to deliver tailored assistance to build the capacity of ASEAN countries to combat anti-competitive activities in their individual markets.

It’s another part of the extensive capacity building work Australia is pursuing under the Australia-New Zealand-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (or AANZFTA), which came into force in 2010.

AANZFTA has done much to strengthen trade and economic integration in this dynamic region.

AANZFTA has also been an important factor in the continuing growth in Australia’s two-way trade with ASEAN, which has doubled to $90 billion over the past decade.

I wish you success in today’s discussions, as you look more closely at the potential benefits for Laos in introducing a quality competition law and authority, and what that new regime might look like.

Thank you again for the opportunity to join you. And in the spirit of promoting competition, I would like to give the floor to someone else to speak.

Thank you and every success.