Monthly Archives: March 2011

Gathering Evidence on Unfair Trade Practice in ASEAN: Challenges & Impacts

11th March, 2011, Hanoi, Vietnam

Inaugurating a one-day International Conference on Competition marking the launch of a two year regional project, entitled ‘Study on Unfair Trade Practices in select ASEAN countries’, Mr. Bach Van Mung, Director General, Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) said, “that it is important to deal with UTPs in-order to ensure an effective competitive environment and protection of consumer welfare. According to Mung, it is a big challenge for Vietnam and all ASEAN Countries and thus it is important for competition agencies in ASEAN countries to collaborate together and ensure the end of UTPs”. He emphasised the importance of lesson sharing, dialogues within the framework of the project which would benefit the relevant stakeholders in the ASEAN countries. He affirmed the support of VCAD to ensure successful implementation of the project and acknowledged the support for CUTS International, India and International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

CUTS Hanoi Resource Centre is implementing the project in five ASEAN countries i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam with support from the IDRC The project is being initiated through the conference jointly organized by CUTS International, a civil society organisation which has done pioneering work in the field of competition and regulation in India and other developing countries and Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) – Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Mr. Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International, emphasised the importance of effective implementation of Competition and Consumer Protection legislations to effectively counter Unfair Trade Practices. Further, Mehta provided a detailed outline of the work of CUTS in the areas of competition policy and law. He indicated that CUTS is committed to assisting developing and least developed countries of Asia and Africa to advocate for competition reforms as a means to achieve economic development and consumer welfare.

Ms. Alice Pham, Director, CUTS Hanoi Resource Centre provided an overview of the project, various activities and said that at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) level, UTPs have remained a low key for a multitude of reasons. Thus, this project aspires to fill this void in the ASEAN region by generating and supporting the discussions/dialogues therein on issues related to UTPs. Pham emphasised that the project is designed on two main pillars – research and advocacy. Capacity building and networking elements are built in the whole implementation process of the project.

The meeting brought together more than 40 experts and academicians within and beyond the ASEAN region, as well as partners, advisors and select local government officials working in the field, press to discuss and exchange views on the nature and prevalence of UTPs in the region, their impacts on business growth and consumer welfare, and the legal and regulatory framework as well as institutions to deal with them, etc.

For further details, please contact:

Alice Pham, CUTS HRC, Director (; +84986310179)

To Tam, Programme Officer (; +84974765155)

Tel: +84 (0) 466 739 486; Fax: +84 (0) 462 763 606; Website:

Challenges and impacts of unfair trade practices in ASEAN

VOVNews, March 11th, 2011

This is the major theme of a conference held in Hanoi on March 11 by the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) Hanoi Resource Centre in collaboration with the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

With the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, the conference aimed to launch a two-year project entitled “Study on Unfair Trade Practices in select ASEAN countries”, from 2011-2013.

This is the result of a research cooperation programme between the CUTS Hanoi Resource Centre and partners from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The project aims to fill the aforementioned void in the ASEAN region by generating and supporting the discussions/dialogues therein on issues related to Unfair Trade Practices (UTPs).

The conference brought together Vietnamese and foreign experts and academicians in Vietnam and abroad, as well as partners, advisors and governmental officials working in the field to discuss and exchange views on the nature and prevalence of UTPs in the region. They also raised their concerns about the impacts of UTPs on business growth and consumer welfare.

UTPs, otherwise called unfair competition practices, constitute an important part of antitrust statutes of several countries in the world. In some cases, UTPs are handled by a whole separate piece of legislative act – a law on unfair competition.

UTPs have considerable, sometimes quite severe, implications on business welfare, especially that of small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and consumer welfare. However, in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), UTPs have remained in low profile for different reasons.

Addressing the event, VCA General Director Bach Van Mung said that there is growing concern in almost all economies, especially in developing countries where still lack a complete legal framework on this issue. “UTPs negatively impact on not only the competition environment but also consumer rights,” he stressed.

According to Mr Mung, eight out of ten ASEAN nations have issued laws and regulations relating to the control of UTPs. However, he said, this is a complicated issue so it is no easy task to translate these laws and regulations into practice.

The VCA General Director expressed his hope that the project on UTPs and its challenges and impacts would help regional countries complete the legal system to create a healthy competition environment for both domestic and foreign businesses.

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