Facilitating post-COVID-19 recovery in Southeast Asia

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What are the priorities to ensure the region’s fast, sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from the crisis? Explore PBEC’s partner OECD’s latest and upcoming work in the region on competition, investment, SMEs and much more.

Fostering Competition in ASEAN

Efficient logistics can play a significant role in increasing a country’s economic development by facilitating international trade and improving its competitiveness. The Fostering Competition in ASEAN project reviews regulatory constraints on competition in all ten ASEAN member countries to identify regulations that hinder the efficient functioning of markets and create an unlevel playing field for business. It focuses on the logistics sector and comprises two parallel components: competition assessment reviews of specific logistics sub-sectors and competitive neutrality reviews of small-package delivery services. The reports on Thailand, the Philippines, and Brunei Darussalam were launched in September 2020, January 2021, and February 2021, respectively. The reports for the remaining ASEAN Member States are expected to be launched in the coming months.

The OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Logistics Sectors. They offer recommendations to lower regulatory barriers to competition in this sector. They covers freight transport by land and by water, freight forwarding, warehousing, small parcel delivery and value-added logistics services.

Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam has suffered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with exports in June 2020 decreasing by 15.3% year-on-year, while the Asian Development Bank’s forecasts expect a GDP growth of 1.4% in 2020 and 2% in 2021. These policy recommendations contribute to reforms that can help the Bruneian economy resume sustainable growth and job creation by enhancing competitiveness, encouraging investment and stimulating productivity in the logistics service sector, with knock-on economy-wide effects and benefits for its consumers.

Report Highlights Link Released February 2021: http://www.oecd.org/daf/competition/brunei-darussalam-competition-assessment-reviews-2021-highlights.pdf

Philippines

This OECD assessment was conducted in consultation with the Philippine authorities and local stakeholders, and with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat and the UK Prosperity Fund (UK Government). The assessment prioritises 96 pieces of legislation and identifies 76 regulatory barriers where changes could be made to foster greater competition in the Philippines logistics sector. This is especially important for the Philippines where logistics currently accounts for about 4% of the country’s GDP. This report offers policy recommendations that can help the Philippine government address structural and regulatory shortcomings in this sector. These structural reforms have become even more pressing as the Philippine economy will contract by approximately 7.3% in 2020 (compared to a growth rate of 6% in 2019) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with containment measures severely affecting key economic activities such as exports and tourism. These policy recommendations contribute to reforms that can help the Philippine economy resume sustainable growth and job creation by enhancing competitiveness, encouraging investment and stimulating productivity in the logistics service sector, with knock-on economy-wide effects and benefits for its consumers.

Report Highlights Link Released January 2021: http://www.oecd.org/daf/competition/Philippines-competition-assessment-reviews-2020-highlights.pdf

Thailand

This assessment of Thailand’s logistics sector prioritised 69 pieces of legislation and identifies 54 regulatory barriers where changes could be made to foster greater competition. This is especially important for Thailand which is emerging as a key logistics hub in the region where logistics currently account for about 6% of the country’s GDP. This report offers policy recommendations that can help the Thai government address structural and regulatory shortcomings in this sector. These structural reforms have become even more pressing as the Thai economy is will shrink by about 6.5% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with containment measures severely affecting key economic activities such as exports and tourism. These policy recommendations contribute to reforms that can help the Thai economy resume sustainable growth and job creation by enhancing competitiveness, encouraging investment and stimulating productivity in the logistics service sector, with knock-on economywide effects and benefits for its consumers.

Report Highlights Link Released September 2020: http://www.oecd.org/daf/competition/Thailand-competition-assessment-reviews-2020-highlights.pdf

PBEC fully supports these recommendations and findings.

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