INTERNATIONAL: ASEAN – LAOS – COMPETITION POLICY

Laos: The Lao PDR lays the foundation for its competition regime

On July 14th, 2015, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic enacted its competition law. The law introduces the basic framework of the competition regime including the standard pillars of competition law (mergers, cartels and abuses of dominant position) as well as unfair trade practices. The law also establishes the foundation for a number of regulatory authorities and a varied set of potential penalties. However, while enacting this legislation is a commendable first step, significant guidance will be required to order to effectively implement it. This article outlines the basic provisions of the competition law and identifies some areas requiring clarification.

1. On 14 July 2015, the National Assembly of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Laos”) passed the Law on Business Competition (No. 60/NA) (“Competition Law”), which is to come into force on issue by the President of the National Assembly of the Promulgating Decree and 15 days after the Competition Law’s publication in the Government Gazette. It is our understanding that, as the Competition Law was published in the Government Gazette on 24 November 2015, it is currently effective, although no promulgating decree has been issued. This is a somewhat confusing situation for businesses and, furthermore, the regulator has not been appointed. While the enactment of the Competition Law lays a foundation on which to develop and eventually enforce Laos’ competition policy, considerable additional

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David Fruitman, Laos: The Lao PDR lays the foundation for its competition regime, November 2016, Concurrences Review Nº 4-2016, Art. N° 81390, www.concurrences.com

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