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First ASEAN Regulatory Reform Symposium, Makati City Philippines, July 2012

The symposium was undertaken as part of a large project focused on the potential to develop an ASEAN-level regulatory reform program. It follows the first ASEAN dialogue on regulatory reform, which was held in 2011 and focused on sharing member country experiences of reform initiatives. It was determined at the time of the initial dialogue that an important focus of this symposium should be on reform activity in the logistics and supply chain connectivity sector. This reflects, in large part, the strongly export-oriented nature of many ASEAN member countries’ economies.

Regulatory reform is widely identified as a means of enhancing economic competitiveness and performance, benefiting consumers and citizens and favouring the development of good public governance practices. Within the specific ASEAN context, regulatory reform has particular potential to assist Member States in meeting the challenges of global competition and, more broadly, can support progress in relation to all of the “four pillars” of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The specific purposes of the symposium were to enhance ASEAN Member States’ knowledge and understanding of strategies, issues and approaches in relation to regulatory reform, both in terms of specific activities being undertaken among member countries and, more broadly, in terms of the best practices that have been identified as a result of the extensive experience of a range of OECD Member countries.

The symposium therefore included presentations covering reform experiences in relation to logistics and supply chain connectivity in three Member countries, a fourth presentation covering regulatory reform experience in the transport sector in Australia and a presentation on the use of de minimis exemptions from customs procedures (including collection of consumption taxes). In addition, a speaker from the OECD’s Regulatory Policy and Governance program outlined the OECD’s regulatory reform best practices. Finally, a panel discussion and plenary session sought to identify key lessons and opportunities for the development of an ASEAN regulatory reform program, drawing on the day’s presentations and discussions.

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