Parliament Passes Business Competition Law

The National Assembly (NA) yesterday passed the Business Competition Law in a move to ensure that competition between businesses in Laos is carried out in a fair and just manner to boost economic growth.

The approval was made after the law makers recognised the need for Laos to have a Business Competition Law with comprehensive content to give guidance on business competition.

Presenting the draft of the law prior to its approval by the ongoing parliament’s ordinary session yesterday, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr Bounmy Manivong said the time has come for Laos to have such a law.

Amid growing regional and international economic integration, there is a need to upgrade the current Prime Ministerial Decree on Trade Competition, which has been promulgated since 2004, into a law to handle the growing integration as Laos and other Asean members are set to build the Asean Economic Community at the end of 2015, he said.

The deputy minister added that once the new law is promulgated, it will supplement the decree as the content of the law is more comprehensive.

The decree has only five chapters with 17 articles, while the draft law comprises of nine parts, eight chapters and 84 articles.

Lao Business Competition Law

“Therefore, there is a need to upgrade the decree into law. The content of the law is comprehensive and covers all areas of business competition,” he said told the session.

The expanding Lao economy has intensified business competition but many operators have also complained about increasingly unfair and unjust competition, which has pressed the need for Laos to promulgate a law to handle the issue, Mr Bounmy stated.

In addition, the master plan of the Asean Economic Community has demanded Asean member states to formulate their own policy or law on business competition by 2015.

The passing of the law has made Laos the ninth Asean nation that has its own law on business competition. Only Cambodia among the 10 Asean nations does not have such a law.

The law defines principles, measures and regulations that prevent unfair and unjust business competition, while promoting business competition in a fair and just manner along with protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the state, business operators and customers.

Laos has made use of lessons learnt by other Asean member countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in formulating the draft of the law. International experts were also invited to share the best practices of other countries.

Source: Vientiane Times

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