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Competition Commission encourages businesses to comply with the Competition Order to promote business opportunities and growth

​1. More than 40 members of the French Brunei Business Association (FBBA) and ten other companies from across sectors participated in the Competition Order Business Dialogue this morning. Also present was His Excellency Mr Christian Ramage, the French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam. 

2. The series of Competition Order Business Dialogue sessions was jointly organised by the Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam (CCBD) and Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), to raise competition law awareness among the business community. The objective of the awareness session was to encourage business compliance and reinforce Brunei Darussalam’s commitment in fostering a healthy business environment to promote business opportunities and growth. 

3. The CCBD had announced in June 2019 that Brunei will enforce the Competition Order against cartel or anticompetitive business conducts beginning 1 Jan 2020. A six-month transitional period will begin from 1 Jan 2020. This transitional period is to allow businesses to make adjustments to comply with the Order. 

 4. The Dialogue began with a presentation on the key features of the Order by the Acting Director of the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs in the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE ), as the Executive Secretariat to the CCBD. 

5. The presentation focused on the three key prohibitions of the Competition Order, namely (i) Anti-competitive agreements (ii) Abuse of dominant position (iii) Anticompetitive mergers. Anti-competitive agreements, widely known as cartels, the prohibition of which is covered under S. 11 of the Order, will be enforced against by 1 Jan 2020. 

6. Anti-competitive agreements are composed of four key illegal conducts. These illegal conducts are (i) price fixing; (ii) bid rigging; (iii) market sharing; (iv) limiting supply. Some real cases from the region were shared to illustrate such scenarios of illegal conducts. 

7. The participants were informed that besides having the power to investigate any potential infringement, the Commission has the power to request for information from businesses to conduct a market study in order to gain insights of the market functions and explore causes of insufficient competition. It was noted to participants that not all issues in the market can be resolved through the competition law as some may require other policy measures to improve the market competitiveness. 

8. Following the presentation on the scope of the law, participants were engaged in an interactive discussion on issues that may potentially raise competition concerns. Also present in the dialogue session was Competition Advisor, Dr Hassan Qaqaya, a former head of Competition and Consumer Policies in UNCTAD, with more than 35 years experience in the area of trade and competition policies. 

9. The Dialogue deliberated on matters related to government policies; parallel imports; enforcement timeline; issue of mergers in a small economy, recommended fees or tariff set by industry players. 

10.During the discussion, Dr Qaqaya further emphasized on the importance of effective enforcement of competition law to protect the competitive process in the economic landscape and ensure business players are on a level playing field to compete in a healthy business environment and not a victim of anti-competitive practices. 

11.The participants were distributed with Guidelines on Competition for Business and FAQs on the Competition Order, published by the Competition Commission. 

12.The Executive Secretariat of the CCBD applauded the FBBA in actively promoting bilateral trade and business in Brunei, through organising talks and activities to disseminate economic information. She also commended on the significant interest demonstrated by the encouraging number of FBBA members in attendance and their active participation in the Dialogue. 

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Executive Secretariat to the Competition Commission of Brunei Darussalam Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) Ministry of Finance and Economy About Competition Commissi

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