Group urges passage of ‘competition law’ | Inquirer Business
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Group urges passage of ‘competition law’

Key to generating jobs, reducing poverty
By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 03:42 AM April 03, 2014

Filipino food entrepreneurs display their products at the Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair at the SM Megatrade on March 28, 2014. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry has pressed the enactment of a Competition Law to further boost investments and employment as well as ensure inclusive growth. PHOTO BY RICK ALBERTO

MANILA, Philippines-The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the country’s biggest business organization, has pressed the enactment of a Competition Law to further boost investments and employment as well as ensure inclusive growth.

“An assurance of fair competition will be conductive to the entry of new businesses and expansion of existing companies important to creating employment and easing of poverty,” PCCI president Alfredo M. Yao said on Wednesday.

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Yao explained that the Competition Law would help level the playing field for all investors as this would ensure fair pricing, provide wider choice of goods in the market and avoid mergers or trade combinations that exclude weak companies.

A fair competition law has been an advocacy of the PCCI as this will sharpen the country’s competitive advantage and foster a healthy business environment that, in turn, will spread the benefits of fast economic growth.

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“These potential benefits—innovation, better products and services, more choices and a more competitive economy—are what all we hope to enjoy as we develop and implement a Competition Law,” Yao added.

Yao pointed out that the necessity for clear anti-trust rules or a structure for fair competition would become more apparent as the Philippines move to negotiate for and sign more international trade agreements.

“The full realization of Asean’s economic integration (through the Asean Economic Community) and increasing interest to participate in other free-trade agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)—developments which may require more liberal policies beyond mere deregulation, privatization and removal of reasonable trade barriers—will definitely affect commercial activity,” Yao said.

“While these economic partnership agreements have the potential to generate more investments, they are as likely to generate anti-competitive threats,” he added.

The Asean Economic Community, which will be established by 2015, will transform the 10 member-states of the Asean into a single market and production base. This presents dynamic competition and vast opportunities with the free flow of goods, services, skilled labor, investments and capital.

RCEP is a proposed free-trade agreement between the 10 member-countries of Asean and their six FTA partners, namely China, Australia, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, while the TPP is deemed the Philippines’ only chance to have a trade agreement with the United States, currently one of the country’s biggest bilateral partners.

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TAGS: Business, competition law, economy, fair competition, inclusive growth, Philippines, poverty reduction
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