CCCS participates actively in regional and international competition platforms such as the Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG) in APEC; the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC) in ASEAN; the ICN as well as the OECD. In the area of consumer protection, CCCS is active at the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP); the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network (ICPEN); and the OECD. These platforms enable CCCS to actively contribute to the promotion of pro-competition and pro-consumer policies, and to exchange experiences and best practices on competition policy and consumer protection with its counterparts from around the world.
APEC was established in 1989 to facilitate economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment for economics in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC’s primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific Region by championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, enhancing human security, and facilitating a favourable and sustainable business environment.
APEC's 21 Member Economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Republic of the Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; Viet Nam.
CCCS contributes to the APEC Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG) that strives to develop an understanding of regional competition laws and policies, to examine the impact on trade and investment flows, and to identify areas for technical cooperation and capacity building among member economies.
As part of the ASEAN community, Singapore plays an active role in working with other ASEAN members to develop sound competition policies and best practices for the region. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint acknowledges the importance of competition policy and law (CPL) in promoting economic development and integration. Under the AEC Blueprint 2025, ASEAN Member States (AMSs) aim to provide a level playing field for all firms through effective implementation and enforcement of competition policy and law.
Based on the AEC Blueprint, an ASEAN Competition Action Plan (ACAP) 2025 has been developed. The ACAP details the strategic goals, initiatives and outcomes on competition policy and law for ASEAN from 2016 to 2025.
The ASEAN Economic Ministers endorsed the establishment of the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC) in August 2007 as a platform to look into CPL issues in ASEAN. The AEGC is an official body comprising representatives from the competition authorities and agencies responsible for competition policy and law in AMSs. It oversees cooperation activities relating to competition policy and law in ASEAN as well as implementation of measures under the AEC Blueprint. CCCS represents Singapore at the AEGC and has been an active contributor to the various initiatives and activities at the AEGC.
CCCS has been involved in various AEGC work initiatives as follows:
Work Group on Developing Strategy and Tools for Regional Advocacy – as chair of the work group, CCCS led the development of a toolkit on competition advocacy in ASEAN. The toolkit serves as a step-by-step guide for competition authorities in the region on how to advocate competition policy and law issues to various stakeholders in their respective jurisdictions. The toolkit also includes templates for AMSs to adapt for their own use, as well as case studies on successful advocacy approaches and outcomes in the region.
Work Group on Website – CCCS chaired a work group to develop a one-stop web portal to provide updates on CPL developments in ASEAN. The web portal also serves as a platform for AEGC members to interact and share information. The web portal can be accessed at https://www.asean-competition.org/. Subsequently, CCCS led efforts to revamp the web portal to ensure its continued relevance to relevant stakeholders.
To complement the web portal, a set of competition advocacy collaterals in the form of a brochure and pamphlet was also developed to raise awareness among the general public on competition policy and law in the region. Through simple language, the collaterals aim to educate businesses and consumers in ASEAN on key principles of competition policy and law, particularly with regards to its application in the region.
Developing Regional Core Competencies on Competition Policy and Law Work Group – which developed a set of guidelines on core competencies in competition policy and law based on the experiences of AMSs as well as internationally-recommended practices. The guidelines are intended to assist and provide guidance to competition agencies in ASEAN in building up required competencies, specifically in the areas of (i) Institutional Building; (ii) Enforcement; and (iii) Advocacy.
Regional Guidelines Work Group – which developed a set of guidelines to serve as a reference framework for AMSs as they introduce, implement and develop CPL in their respective countries;
Handbook on Competition Policy and Law in ASEAN for Business Work Group – which developed a handbook targeted at non-competition experts and the business community to give them a basic understanding of CPL across AMSs. This will particularly benefit businesses with existing operations in AMSs as well as businesses which intend to expand their operations to ASEAN countries. The Handbook (https://asean-competition.org/read-publication-handbook-on-competition-policy-and-law-in-asean-for-business-2019) was updated in 2019 to take into consideration the latest CPL developments and policies in the various AMSs.
Toolkit on Competition Compliance in ASEAN – CCCS led the development of a toolkit to facilitate competition compliance by businesses operating in ASEAN and to provide guidance to ASEAN Member States on promoting business compliance with competition law. The toolkit can be accessed here.
Virtual ASEAN Competition Research Centre – to stimulate research on competition in ASEAN and East Asia, CCCS led the establishment of the Virtual ASEAN Competition Research Centre (“Virtual Centre”). The Virtual Centre hosts a repository of research articles which are useful reference for researchers and competition authorities examining competition issues in the region. In addition, it includes profiles and contact details of researchers / academics with an interest on competition policy and law in the region, as well as a section aimed at promoting research collaboration on competition in ASEAN. The Virtual Centre can be accessed at https://asean-competition.org/research/
View the various work products and publications developed by the AEGC.
ICN (International Competition Network)
The ICN is the only dedicated international body for competition law enforcement and it provides an informal platform for networking and addressing practical competition concerns among competition authorities worldwide. Annual conferences and regular workshops provide opportunities for discussions on various working group projects and their impact on competition enforcement. These allow the formation of a dynamic dialogue that is consensus driven to facilitate convergence towards adoption of best practices.
There are currently five working groups in the ICN:
CCCS participates actively in ICN activities and makes contributions in various working groups. For example, we hosted the first regional workshop on Unilateral Conduct in Singapore from 24 to 25 July 2012, the ICN Annual Conference in April 2016, the ICN Agency Effectiveness Working Group ASEAN Senior Competition Officials Workshop on Due Process and the ICN Policy and Implementation Workshop on Business Compliance for ASEAN Competition Officials.
CCCS is elected as a member of the ICN Steering Group which guides the work of ICN and is also co-chairing the Advocacy working group from 2017 to 2020.
OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development)
The OECD brings together the governments of countries to discuss among themselves issues that support sustainable economic growth, employment, living standards, financial stability, economic development and contribution to world trade. It is a platform for policy makers to compare experiences, seek solutions to common problems and identifying best practices.
CCCS participates in OECD activities on competition law and policy that actively encourages governments to tackle anti-competitive practices and regulations. These include contributing papers and speaking on Singapore’s experiences at the annual OECD Global Forum on Competition (GFC) and the bi-annual OECD Competition Committee Meetings. The GFC is an annual event that brings together high-level competition officials from around the world. The GFC provides an opportunity for policy dialogue between OECD and non-OECD countries. Our contributions for the past three years are:
The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Committee on Consumer Policy (CCP) addresses a broad range of consumer issues and helps public authorities enhance the development of effective consumer policies. It does so by (i) carrying out research and analysis, and developing policy guidelines on topics of common interest; (ii) exchanging information on current and emerging issues and trends; and (iii) examining ways to strengthen policy outcomes, both among governments and with other stakeholders.
The Committee, which includes senior consumer policy and enforcement officials from OECD governments, works closely with consumer policy and enforcement officials from OECD non-Members, and experts from civil society and the business community. In addition to its semi-annual meetings, the CCP organises workshops on specific issues in which stakeholders from non-Members often take part.
ACCP (ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection)
The ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) was established in 2007 by the ASEAN Economic Ministers. Its members are representatives of consumer protection agencies of ASEAN Member States (AMS). The ACCP serves as the focal point to implement and monitor regional arrangements and mechanisms to foster consumer protection in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The ACCP’s role is to ensure that consumer protection measures, including laws, regulations and policies, are in place in all AMS; consumers’ access to information is enhanced, mechanisms for consumer redress and product recalls are in place, and institutional capacity is strengthened. These are reflected in the strategic approaches adopted under the AEC Blueprint 2015-2025 and the more detailed initiatives under the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan on Consumer Protection (ASAPCP 2025).
CCCS currently supports the Pro-Enterprise Division/Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in contributing to the various initiatives of the ACCP, and participates actively at the Committee’s meetings and workshops.
ICPEN (International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network)
The International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network (ICPEN) is a membership organization consisting of consumer protection law enforcement authorities from across the globe. ICPEN provides a forum for developing and maintaining regular contact between consumer protection agencies and focusing on consumer protection concerns. By encouraging cooperation between agencies, ICPEN aims to enable its members to have a greater impact with their consumer laws and regulations.
The mandate of ICPEN is to share information about cross-border commercial activities that may affect consumer interests and to encourage international cooperation and collaboration among consumer law enforcement agencies in this scope. The core strategies to achieve its mandate are:
- To coordinate and cooperate on consumer protection enforcement matters
- To share information and intelligence on consumer protection trends and risks
- To share best practice information about key consumer protection laws, enforcement powers and regulatory approaches to consumer protection
Participants of ICPEN are categorized into members, partners and observers. As at November 2018, ICPEN has 61 member authorities and 3 partner organizations (with membership pending). Participants usually meet twice a year at plenary conferences hosted by the country which is holding ICPEN’s annual rotating presidency. Each presidency is supported by an advisory group composed of the current, former and future Presidents and nominated representatives from within the membership seeking geographical representation and rotating participation of different member organizations.
Since April 2018, CCCS has been attending ICPEN’s annual conferences and best practices workshops.