A conference on competition organised by the ASEAN Economic Co-operation Work Programme and Vietnam 's Competition Authority opens in Ho Chi Minh City on September 13.

In the context of global economic decline, M&A (mergers and acquisitions) is one of the most effective tool for enterprises to restructure and increase their efficiency, Bach Van Mung, head of the Competition Authority told a press meeting held to introduce the conference.

The conference will discuss whether M&A should be controlled to avoid monopoly and cause bad impacts, he added.

The conference, the second of its kind, is titled "Mergers and Acquisitions impacts on ASEAN".

In the first half of this year, M&A by ASEAN-based companies were worth a record 26.2 billion USD, higher than in the whole of last year (23.2 billion USD).

The two-day event will discuss the legal framework on M&A in ASEAN member nations, impacts of mergers on the regional economy, and international experience in managing and supervising M&A, especially trans-border ones.

Officials from competition-management agencies in ASEAN member countries, Australia , Japan , New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the US , and local businesses will participate.

The first conference was held in Bali last year.

Five of the member states, including Vietnam, have full-fledged competition laws in place, and all 10 are expected to have them by 2015.-VNA