ASLI Working Paper Series

Publication Title Application of Competition Laws to Government in Asia: The Singapore Story
Publisher Asian Law Institute
Series WPS025
Publication Date Mar 2012
Author/Speaker Deborah Healey
Singapore has an established competition law, the Competition Act, based on its unique political economy. This paper looks at the approach of the Singapore Competition Act to the government and its activities to ascertain whether it is effective in creating a level playing field for government and private sector participation. It is generally accepted that competition law should be applied to all market participants and that exemptions or exclusions should be relatively limited, transparent and well-justified. Application of competition law to government is ideally based on the principle that commercial or business activities of the government should be caught, but non-commercial activities need not be, because that they do not form part of the market. The Singapore Government is involved in the economy as regulator and a market participant by way of government departments, statutory bodies and ownership or control of commercial entities. A closer inquiry is required to determine whether the Singapore approach to the government is appropriate given the political economy of the jurisdiction. The likelihood of enforcement of a competition law against a government entity will also be a key issue in determining its effectiveness and to this end the independence and behaviour of the Competition Commission of Singapore are relevant and will also be examined briefly.
View/Download (PDF) File :