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ERIA Workshop on Good Regulatory Practices in Professional Engineering Services

15 October 2023

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Kuala Lumpur, 15-16 October 2023: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and South Asia (ERIA) held a validation workshop for its case study research on good regulatory practices (GRP) in the professional engineering services sector, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was hosted by the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

The workshop was the second in a series of three, following a similar event held in Jakarta, and preceding the third in Bangkok.

A team from ERIA’s Policy Design Department participated in the focus group discussion, supported by the team from IKMAS, including Dr Faliq Razaq, a research fellow who is the lead expert; and supported by Professor Sufian Jusoh, Deputy Director Professor Tamat Sarmidi, Associate Professor Ahmad Rizal Mohamad Yusof and Research Fellow Mohd Hariszuan Jaharudin.

Malaysia has implemented GRP and embedded regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) across the government since 2013. All new regulations and reviews of existing regulations must undergo RIAs, and their impacts and benefits must be systematically identified and assessed. The case study selected for Malaysia was related to the reform of the Engineering Act. Engineering services was the first occupation to gain a great deal of supply and demand and the first to be negotiated and concluded under the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) for services.

The workshop gathered top representatives from the Malaysian Board of Engineering (MBOE), government officials, and academics, for discussions on the practices of engineers and technologists in Malaysia and the best practices other countries in this region and beyond could learn. The discussion focused on whether reform policies were developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, whether the government has undertaken a soft/binding commitment in this area, and the economic benefits to overall national GDP.

The case study research serves as a compelling demonstration of the practical application of GRPs within the national context. It aims to showcase the link and the nexus between the adoption of effective regulatory standards within a country and the resulting impact on its economic performance.

The workshop is a crucial component of ERIA’s joint research project with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Bank, in developing the Handbook of Good Regulatory Practices to facilitate services trade in selected ASEAN countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

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