Consumer Protection Digests and Case Studies – a Policy Guide (volume 2)- 2015

Manufacturers and retailers of goods, other than those for immediate consumption, regularly offer consumers an ‘express warranty’ — an undertaking to repair or replace the goods should they break or otherwise prove defective within a specified period. In some cases these express warranties are ‘voluntary’, in the sense that they are provided by the retailer or manufacturer without additional charge. Another type of express warranty is an extended warranty — an undertaking by the provider of the express warranty (who may be the retailer, the manufacturer or a third party) to repair or replace faulty goods for a specified ‘extended’ period, over and above the period of the voluntary express warranty. It is purchased by the consumer through a contract separate from the original purchase. The benefits provided to consumers by both of these types of express warranties are dependent largely on the terms of the warranty and the consumers’ own preferences. Two additional critical factors that may be addressed by consumer protection legislation are: the rights of the consumer to enforce the warranty against the retailer or manufacturer who provided it whether sufficient information is available to consumers to allow them to make meaningful choices based on the existence of the warranty. This publication discusses best practices in the consumer protection law in place in AMS, Australia, and the European Union in responding to various issues. Consumer rights and guarantees in regard to goods and services that are provided by statute are discussed in Digest 11, included in Volume 1 of this publication. Policy Guide Vol....

ASEAN Investment Report 2015 – Infrastructure Investment and Connectivity

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into ASEAN has risen for the third consecutive year from $117.7 billion in 2013 to $136.2 billion in 2014. Despite a 16% decline of global FDI flows in 2014, ASEAN Member States have collectively received the largest FDI among developing countries. Due to robust regional economic fundamentals, cost advantages, regional integration, and on-going efforts to improve the investment environment in ASEAN, the region is now seen as a prime investment destination, attracting investments and influencing corporate strategies in the region. Investments from ASEAN Member States also continue to rise, reaching $24.4 billion in 2014 from $19.4 billion of the previous year. With intra-ASEAN investment accounting for 18% of the total FDI into the region, ASEAN is now the 2nd largest investor in its own region, manifesting greater interest from the business community to have a stronger regional presence in light of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community by the end of 2015. This 2015 ASEAN Investment Report focuses on infrastructure investment and connectivity – both critical in supporting ASEAN’s economic growth as they improve logistical efficiency, reduce transaction costs and support greater flow of trade and investment. Highlighting the important role of the private sector in helping governments to bridge the infrastructure gap in ASEAN and the linkages of various players across the infrastructure value chain, this Annual Report continues to provide useful updates on the latest developments in the ASEAN investment landscape. This report was prepared under a technical cooperation arrangement between the ASEAN Secretariat and the UNCTAD Division on Investment and Enterprise (DIAE). This report was published in 2015, and also currently available at the UNCTAD website. Download...

Handbook on Liberalisation of Professional Services through Mutual Recognition in ASEAN: Engineering, Surveying, Accountancy and Architecture Services

The Handbook “LIBERALISATION OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES THROUGH MUTUAL RECOGNITION IN ASEAN” comprise four Handbooks published by the ASEAN Secretariat to provide guidance on the liberalisation of professional services in ASEAN, specifically Engineering, Surveying, Accountancy and Architecture professions. The Handbooks are an important tool to disseminate information and create greater understanding of the liberalisation of the trade in the four areas of services within ASEAN. Through the Handbooks, ASEAN professionals will be able to obtain information on how to qualify and practice as per their professional qualifications, either as an employee, through collaborations or through the setting-up of commercial presence, in all ASEAN Member States (AMS). Each of the Handbook discusses the definition of mutual recognition and Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA), models of mutual recognition and MRAs in several jurisdictions, and international and regional MRAs on the specific services. It then provides an overview of the qualification requirements and analyses various issues surrounding the liberalisation of the specific services in ASEAN. It also provides several proposals for reform of the liberalization of the specific services in ASEAN and offers a few concluding thoughts. Download Handbook on Liberalisation of Professional Services through Mutual Recognition in ASEAN: Architecture Services Download Handbook on Liberalisation of Professional Services through Mutual Recognition in ASEAN: Surveying Services Download Handbook on Liberalisation of Professional Services through Mutual Recognition in ASEAN: Accountancy Services Download Handbook on Liberalisation of Professional Services through Mutual Recognition in ASEAN: Engineering Services  Related Project: Handbook on Core Competencies & Domestic Regulation Development of Implementation/Action Plans to Enhance Mobility of ASEAN Professionals on Accountancy Services Development of Implementation/Action Plans to Enhance Mobility of ASEAN Professionals on Surveying...

Development Prospects of the ASEAN Power Sector: Towards an Integrated Electricity Market

The power sector is fundamental to the energy outlook for Southeast Asia. The demand for power is projected to grow faster than any other final form of energy, accounting for 58% of growth in total demand. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needs to add 354 gigawatts of additional capacity for power generation by 2040, which more than doubles today’s capacity and calls for investments of USD 618 billion in generation and USD 690 billion in the transmission and distribution of this power. The report, “Development Prospects of the ASEAN Power Sector: Towards an Integrated Electricity Market,” was presented and launched during the ASEAN-International Energy Agency (IEA) meeting in Kuala Lumpur last September. The report is the final output of the joint ASEAN, IEA and AADCP II initiative to provide guidance to policy makers in response to the demands for establishing and strengthening the necessary institutions and frameworks for such electricity systems. Download...

ASEAN Services Integration Report (ASIR)

Officially released on 5 November 2015, the ASEAN Services Integration Report (ASIR) is a Joint Report by the ASEAN Secretariat and the World Bank aimed at contributing to the on-going discourse on ASEAN services integration and more broadly on regional economic integration.  It is one of the key deliverables of the ASEAN Community Monitoring and Evaluation Program (AECMEP), a four-year collaborative program between the ASEAN Secretariat and the World Bank that concludes in 2015, and which was supported by the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II. ASIR takes stock of ASEAN’s achievements in services integration, including a focused assessment of ASEAN services policies; delineates the potential gains from further integration; and highlights the remaining challenges. It also puts forward recommendations for further development of ASEAN services agenda more broadly for post-2015. In particular, ASIR suggests areas beyond the services liberalisation commitments for which integration can be deepened and the benefits maximised, such as through regulatory cooperation. To download ASIR, click...

Infrastructure Investment Report

This report details the status of intra-ASEAN infrastructure, with a special emphasis on the initiatives outlined in the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), and highlights the potential role the private sector might have in helping ASEAN to meet its infrastructure requirements. The purpose of this report is to increase ASEAN’s exposure to the global infrastructure community and make the case for the investment opportunity offered by intra-ASEAN infrastructure. This report was distributed with the December/January 2014 issue of Infrastructure Investor, through InfrastructureInvestor.com....