PCCI backs Fair Competition Act

from April 3, 2014 04:00 pm to April 3, 2014 04:00 pm


The enactment of the Fair Competition Act is perhaps the final push that will bring new investments into the country.


This was stressed yesterday by Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Alfredo M. Yao in a press statement.


Yao, who is also head and founder of the Zesto Group, reiterated that economic growth will further get a boost once the competition law is in place.


“(It) will ensure fair pricing and wider choice of goods in the market, avoid mergers or trade combinations that will exclude weak companies from business, and create the level playing field necessary to attract more foreign direct investments,” Yao told participants of the Competition Seminar-Workshop for the Legislative last March 18.


In a statement, PCCI quoted Yao as saying that 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.


“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,” he said.


Further, Yao said, the international trade agreements signed or to be entered into by the Philippines will require an environment with clear anti-trust rules or a structure for fair competition.


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


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


For example, anti-competitive mergers could become a norm as firms consolidate to ensure not only survival and firm level competitiveness but to have better control of the market.


“Government must have the ammunition to ensure that it can continue to deliver on the mandate of fostering a competitive market,” Yao said.


Pending at the Senate and the House of Representatives are several bills on Competition or Anti-Trust. The workshop-seminar is the first time key officers of the Senate and Lower House were under one roof for a session to discuss and understand what competition law is all about.


A fair competition law is an advocacy of the PCCI to sharpen the country’s competitive advantage and foster a healthy business environment that will spread benefits of fast economic growth.


The seminar-workshop was sponsored by the PCCI, the Senate Committee on Trade Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the House Committee on Trade and Industry, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Trade-Related Assistance for Development (TRADE).


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