Consumer protection is a priority agenda of the AEC that is committed to the equitable development and a single market in a competitive business environment. However, the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) are at different stages of political, social and economic development which creates some major hurdles in achieving uniform levels of consumer protection.
A globalised and liberalised economic environment poses further challenges for consumers, policy makers, regulators and businesses in dealing with emerging phenomena such as new market trends, digitalised transactions, impact of climate change, varying consumer demographics and growing cross-border activities. To achieve an equitable level of protection for consumers, the AMSs require a range of strategic capacity building measures.
The report presents the outcomes of an assessment of the capacity building needs in Consumer Protection in the ASEAN Member States with a specific focus on six selected core consumer areas. It addressed gaps in both human and institutional capacities related to specific needs for improved effectiveness and long-term sustainability in dealing with consumer issues and consumer protection areas.
This report highlights human and institutional capacity gaps and recommendations for Consumer Protection agencies and organisations in the AMSs, through a proposed capacity building roadmap and best practices in consumer protection programme. In the short term, recommendations are made to focus on harmonising consumer protection framework in the region through the development of an ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Consumer Protection, Master Plan in all AMSs, along with developing a strong foundation for consumer protection by building awareness and educating consumers and relevant stakeholders, along with strengthening enforcement and redress mechanisms.
Download the report here