Economic integration

Logistics crucial in regional economic integration

Lyna mohamed

The logistics sector plays a central role for ASEAN’s integration into regional and global value chains, which account for around five percent of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), the minister told Cabinet of the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri. Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah at the ASEAN Economics Ministers (AEM) meeting yesterday.

Considering the important role of the sector in promoting economic development, the Minister added that it is important to ensure a well-developed and efficient logistics network, due to its impact on economic activities, the competitiveness of trade costs and supply chain connectivity.

“We were delighted to work with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the ASEAN Secretariat to launch this project three years ago, as part of the Competition Action Plan of the United Nations. ‘ASEAN (ACAP) 2016-2025, towards more pro-competitive regulation. and the elimination of distortions of competition, in order to improve the efficiency of the market, ”he said.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew also pointed out that five sectors – road, river and sea transport, freight forwarding, warehousing, small parcel delivery services and value-added services are the key the development of the business sector, in particular micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and new start-ups, which can generate economic growth and employment.

An assessment of the impact of public enterprises on competition entitled OECD Competitive Neutrality Reviews: Small Parcel Delivery Services in ASEAN was also carried out by the OECD, which has become more relevant, due to the rapid growth of e-commerce amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah shows the reports during the meeting. PHOTO: ASEAN SECRETARIAT

As the project started in 2018, the minister said the policy recommendations have taken into account issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore remain relevant to addressing structural and regulatory gaps.

“I believe this can help ASEAN economies pursue more sustainable growth and create employment opportunities by improving competitiveness, encouraging investment and boosting productivity in the logistics services sector.

“The current economic and pandemic crisis facing ASEAN and the world has led to the need to readjust competition policy and its implementation to adapt it to the current economic and social context,” said the Minister, adding that “competition policy and law cannot function in isolation from other public policies and must be complemented by related industrial policies to support a competitive business environment”.

For Brunei Darussalam, the Brunei Darussalam Competition Commission (CCBD) strives to work with the government to strengthen the synergy between competition law and competition policies by improving market efficiency and welfare consumers while maintaining healthy public finances.

CCBD will continue to work with relevant regulators and publicize the two OECD reports.

The review of competition assessment should be a benchmark for other sectors in promoting the inclusion of the competitive dimension and the implementation of public policies.

The Minister added: “We look forward to continuing and expanding cooperation with OECD and ASEAN partners to adopt the relevant recommendations and best regulatory practices, in order to achieve tangible results in the improving this very crucial sector for the benefit of our people.