Open and Competitive Markets are the Key Drivers of Economic Efficiency and Consumer Welfare
Recognising the strategic importance of developing competition principles to support the strengthening of markets to ensure and sustain growth in the region and that these principles provide a framework that links all aspects of economic policy that affect the functioning of markets;
Recognising that these principles are non-binding and will be implemented by each member economy voluntarily, consistent with the way APEC operates;
Recognising that the adoption of these principles for policy development needs to take account of, and encompass the perse circumstances of economies in the region and the different priorities that arise from these circumstances;
Recognising that member economies will have flexibility to take into account their perse circumstances in implementing this framework;
Recognising that policy and regulation in APEC economies may properly have objectives other than promoting competition;
Recognising that exemptions and exceptions from a competition driven regulatory framework may be necessary and that these will be implemented in a way that minimises economic distortions, giving consideration to this framework;
Recognising that an improved competitive environment is beneficial to small and medium sized enterprises, and that extensive consultation has occurred with the business community in developing these principles; and
Drawing upon relevant inputs from various APEC fora and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council's "Principles for Guiding the Development of a Competition-Driven Policy Framework for APEC Economies";
APEC endorses the following principles:
(i) Application of competition and regulatory principles in a manner that does not discriminate between or among economic entities in like circumstances, whether these entities are foreign or domestic.
(ii) Broad application of competition and regulatory principles to economic activity including goods and services, and private and public business activities.
(iii) The recognition of the competition dimension of policy development and reform which affects the efficient functioning of markets.
(iv)) The protection of the competitive process and the creation and maintenance of an environment for free and fair competition.
(v) The recognition that competitive markets require a good overall legal framework, clear property rights, and non discriminatory, efficient and effective enforcement.
(vi) Transparency in policies and rules, and their implementation.
(vii) Clear responsibility within domestic administrations for the implementation of the competition and efficiency dimension in the development of policies and rules, and their administration.
To achieve this* , APEC Member Economies will make efforts to :
1)Identify and/or review regulations and measures that impede the ability and opportunity of businesses (including SMEs) to compete on the basis of efficiency and innovation.
2)Ensure that measures to achieve desired objectives are adopted and/or maintained with the minimum distortion to competition.
3)Address anti-competitive behaviour by implementing competition policy to protect the competitive process.
4)Consider issues of timing and sequencing involved in introducing competition mechanisms and reform measures, taking into account the circumstances of individual economies.
5)Take practical steps to:
Promote consistent application of policies and rules;
Eliminate unnecessary rules and regulatory procedures; and
Improve the transparency of policy objectives and the way rules are administered.
6)Foster confidence and build capability in the application of competition and regulatory policy. This will be achieved, inter alia, by:
Promoting advocacy of competition policy and regulatory reform;
Building expertise in competition and regulatory authorities, the courts and the private sector; and
Adequately resourcing regulatory institutions, including competition institutions.
7)Provide economic and technical co-operation and assistance and build capability in developing economies by better utilising the accumulated APEC knowledge and expertise on competition policy and regulatory reform, including by developing closer links with non APEC sources of technical expertise.
8)Build on existing efforts in APEC to help specify approaches to regulatory reform and ensure that such approaches are consistent with these principles.
9)Develop programmes, including capacity building and technical assistance, to support the voluntary implementation of the approaches to regulatory reform developed by relevant APEC fora.
10)Develop effective means of co-operation between APEC economy regulatory agencies, including competition authorities, and ensure that these are adequately resourced.