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Good Regulatory Practices: Why It Matters to ASEAN?

17 October 2022

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Jakarta, 17 October 2022: Good regulations should be designed to be, 'fit for purpose, effective, and efficient', as stated in the new ASEAN Handbook on Good Regulatory Practice (GRP). The Handbook serves as a guideline for regulators in ASEAN member states (AMS) for implementing GRP. To move the GRP agenda forward, on 17 October, ERIA and the ASEAN Secretariat held an on-line seminar Good Regulatory Practices: Why It Matters to ASEAN? ERIA is supporting the ASEAN Secretariat to implement initiatives under the ‘ASEAN Work Plan on GRP 2016-2025’.

Almost 100 people from across the ASEAN region joined this seminar and launch of the on ASEAN Handbook on GRP.  In his opening remarks, Dr Alexander Chandra, Assistant Director of the Analysis Monitoring Trade Industry and Emerging Issues Division, ASEAN Secretariat, highlighted the importance of GRP to create the parameter for supporting growth, investment, innovation, and the functioning of markets and society. Notwithstanding the current dynamics in the global economy, Dr Alexander Chandra noted key points to be focused on for promoting GRP include: mainstreaming GRP in different cooperation sectors in AEC, supported by appropriate Capacity Building activities to drive the reform; enabling good regulations to catch up with the rising opportunities and challenges in the region and; adopting agile regulations that value the economic and society.

Dr Intan Murnira Ramli, Policy Fellow of ERIA went on to present an overview of the ASEAN Handbook on GRP. She explained the four main chapters of the Handbook focus on the objectives of ASEAN GRP principles; methods in implementing GRP to foster a conducive regulatory environment; technical and applications for GRP and; elements to prepare the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA). She concluded noting that most AMS is on track across the government sectors, yet continuous efforts to cut red tape, introduce sunset clauses, provide stakeholder consultation platforms, and thorough monitoring and evaluations are required.

The Handbook overview was followed by an exchange of best practices across AMS by three experts. Dr Gilberto M. Lianto, President of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), shared the elements of formal Regulatory Management Systems (RMS) covering regulatory policies, regulatory institutions, regulatory procedures, and regulatory tools. Ms Shahriza Bahari, Deputy Director at Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) explained the role of MPC as a government ad-hoc agency including to promote the GRP across public-private institutions, evaluate the feedback from the businesses and citizens, quality assurance for the policy, and technical advice for the officials. Ms Eunice Huang, Head of Asia-Pacific Trade Policy at Google shared information about digital good regulatory practices covering internal and external stakeholders’ engagement, interoperability to adopt international standard frameworks, and ability to develop more adaptive regulatory frameworks. The presentation, followed by questions and answers, was moderated by Dr Rashesh Shrestha.

After the discussion, Dr Intan Murnira Ramli outlined key recommendations to embrace GRP principles in the national bureaucracy of AMS. These included: increasing capacity building of GRP and RMS implementation; strengthening existing institutional frameworks on GRP; enhancing public-private partnerships and; strengthening the capacity of RIA.

Jeremy Gross, ERIA Director of Capacity Building, closed the event by thanking the experts for sharing their insights and reiterated ERIA’s commitment to mainstreaming the GRP across the ASEAN region in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat. He also noted his optimism and the momentum for pushing GRP forward across the region noting the number of people joining the morning’s seminar. ERIA’s Capacity Building Program has long been active to support efforts at GRP and RMS in the region.

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