A Kick-off Workshop on Sector Studies was held on 11-12 March 2014 in Makati City, Philippines in order for representatives from the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) to exchange knowledge and experiences on the benefits, challenges, and the various approaches of undertaking sector studies.
The Workshop was initiated by the Philippines through its Department of Justice - Office for Competition (DOJ-OFC), as incumbent Chair of the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC), and supported by Germany Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office).
"The workshop was intended to benefit not only the country but the whole ASEAN region by building capacity among the participants who are engaged in the conduct of sector studies. The Department, through its OFC, is committed to bringing in healthier competition in various industries, which translates to lower costs and better choices for the public," said Secretary of Justice Leila M. De Lima.
The participants of the workshop learned from past experiences of Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Germany, and the Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) about the methodology each of them employs in the conduct of their respective sector studies. The presentations also revealed that data and resources are not readily available and that, at times, there is difficulty coordinating with relevant public and private agencies, which pose challenges to the conduct of a sector study.
"Policy changes which further encourage fair competition in a particular industry results from sector studies. It will definitely be helpful for any country to develop the best way of conducting sector assessments in order that reforms may be introduced if necessary," said Assistant Secretary Geronimo L. Sy, head of OFC.
The OFC has initiated studies in priority sectors with the aim of determining the current state of competition in these sectors. This is consistent with its mandate as Competition Authority under E.O. No. 45, series of 2011 to conduct studies and publish the results thereof to guide industry players and consumers.