Tuesday, August 25, 2020
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) has adopted a Law on Competition (No.60/NA) (Lao Competition Law or LCL) on 14 July 2014. The LCL is not the first attempt of the Lao government to implement a competition law. The Lao government already enacted a Decree on Trade Competition (Competition Decree) in 2004. The Competition Decree, though, remained a dead letter. The institutions necessary to implement the law were never established. Yet, it is still to be seen whether the LCL will become an effective instrument.
Various elements will contribute to the potential for effective enforcement. Leaving aside the political will of the Lao government to provide the necessary support for establishing the enforcement agency, the economic environment and the conceptualization of the competition law may be two determinant factors influencing the potential for an effective LCL. Whereas the first requires an insight into the conceptualization of the market, the latter needs a theoretical framework against which the different provisions of the LCL can be judged. This framework will be drawn from the literature on the adoption of competition law in developing countries, provided by a growing number of scholars are backing up these countries in their effort to design a suitable competition law regime.