It is a good time to reflect on competition outreach and capacity building activities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ("ASEAN"). The start of 2013 brings ever closer the 2015 deadline for the ten ASEAN Member States to introduce nationwide competition laws and policy. That deadline is an integral part of a broader commitment to establish the ASEAN Economic Community ("AEC") by 2015. The AEC will be a single market with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and a freer flow of capital.
The start of the year has also seen a new ASEAN Secretary-General take the helm. Mr. HE Le Luong Minh, the first Vietnamese Secretary-General of ASEAN, will serve a 5-year term. His inaugural speech made specific mention of the need for enhanced technical assistance to help ASEAN Member States meet their 2015 goals.