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Myanmar: New Competition Commission under fire

 |  June 13, 2019

Myanmar’s professed commitment to competition reform has come under fire after the government packed the new Competition Commission with bureaucrats serving under a minister, reported the Myanmar Times.

Six out of the 11-member body, including the chair, are government officials, while only one identifies as an economist.

Appointing Commerce Minister U Than Myint as Commission Chair is “questionable” since his own ministry has been called out for protectionism, said U Aung Khant, who heads a Yangon-based policy think tank.

“The Ministry of Commerce remains protectionist across many sectors, often in favour of a select group of local business elites,” he commented. A source from the Ministry denied this.

The appointment also deviates from international best practices, where governments usually delegate this area of decision-making to technocrats, independent of vested interests and political pressures, reported the Myanmar Times. For example, none of the competition authorities in India, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK are headed by a politician.

Full Content: Myanmar Times

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