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President Aquino hails as timely the holding of the 8th East Asia Conference on Competition Law and Policy in Manila

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President Benigno S. Aquino III converses with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima during the 8th East Asia Conference (EAC) on Competition Law and Policy at the Mindanao Ballroom, Sofitel Philippine Plaza in CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City on Wednesday (August 28, 2013). EAC is an open event for key high-level officials of competition agencies in East Asia. EAC participants exchange ideas, views and experiences on emerging regional competition issues; and undertake to strengthen understanding and cooperation with regard to the implementation of competition policy and law across the region.  In photo is Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) chairman Kazuyuki Sugimoto. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III converses with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima during the 8th East Asia Conference (EAC) on Competition Law and Policy at the Mindanao Ballroom, Sofitel Philippine Plaza in CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City on Wednesday (August 28, 2013). EAC is an open event for key high-level officials of competition agencies in East Asia. EAC participants exchange ideas, views and experiences on emerging regional competition issues; and undertake to strengthen understanding and cooperation with regard to the implementation of competition policy and law across the region. In photo is Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) chairman Kazuyuki Sugimoto. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Benigno S. Aquino III hailed as “timely” the holding in Manila of the 8th East Asia Conference on Competition Law and Policy, an open event for key high-level officials of competition agencies, to further advocate the importance of competition policy and promote competition and a level playing field in the market.

In his speech delivered at the Mindanao Ballroom of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City on Wednesday, the President lauded the participants from at least 8 countries as they begin their task of discussing ways to create fair trade between themselves and within their respective countries.

“This is precisely why this conference is timely. All of you are gathered here to talk about what can be done to create a fair, level playing field,” the President said.

“All of you here are, in some way, subscribed to the idea that true, inclusive economic growth can only be achieved by pursuing a healthy competitive environment—one that stokes the natural human drive to compete—to work hard, to innovate, and to create something of worth,” he added.

He said the Philippines is one with the advocacy of the conference and is reflected in the reforms implemented by his administration to “create a business environment conducive to competition.”

These, the President said, include the establishment of the National Competetiveness Council to monitor our competetiveness policies; easing rules and processes for companies to start businesses here; liberalizing the airline industry to allow other carriers to service the country; and the passage of the Common Carriers Tax Law, which will exempt all international air and shipping carriers from paying the three percent common carriers tax on receipts and income derived from transporting passengers.

“These policies, among others, makes it clear: The Philippine government—and the Filipino people—is fully committed to fostering a level playing field. We are doing this because it is one of the most critical pathways to economic growth; we are doing this because we know our entrepreneurs and our work force have the work ethic and the creativity to succeed in any environment.,” the President said.

“Indeed, competition is vital to the growth of any nation. In fact, it is vital to the growth of the world economy, and even to the technological breakthroughs that have, time and again, pushed human civilization into its next great age. And the discussions you will be having here will be essential in continuing that tradition of growth and innovation. I am hopeful that you will take the time to share your ideas and to listen to the ideas of others, all with the vision of how we can best improve Asia’s—and the world’s—competitive landscape,” he added. (MNS)

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