Consumer Protection in ASEAN (PROTECT)

Project description

Title: Consumer Protection in ASEAN (PROTECT)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: ASEAN
Lead executing agency: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Overall term: 2018 to 2022

Meeting of ASEAN Consumer Associations Network, Hanoi, Viet Nam, November 2019 Copyright: GIZ, Viet Nam Competition and Consumer Authority (VCCA)

Context

Safeguarding the interests and welfare of consumers is a central commitment for a dynamic and people-centered ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Effective consumer protection contributes to a conducive and competitive business environment. As consumers hold businesses to higher standards, their trust drives competition, innovation and market participation.

This requires promoting regulatory coherence and convergence across countries in order to encourage ethical business conduct and empower consumers, particularly in the face of unfair or fraudulent practices in online and cross-border trade.

Objective

National consumer protection systems are strengthened so that markets work for businesses and consumers alike.

National Consumer Conference, Hanoi, Viet Nam, June 2019 Copyright: GIZ, Viet Nam Competition and Consumer Authority (VCCA)

Approach

The project applies a two-tier, multi-stakeholder approach by facilitating regional dialogue as well as fostering a “pro-consumer” culture in selected ASEAN member states.

Project activities are primarily guided by the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan on Consumer Protection (ASAPCP) 2016-2025. Support to member states to bridge the implementation gap between regional initiatives and national reforms is delivered in the following areas:

  • Improving legal and institutional frameworks;
  • Consumer access to redress;
  • Policy advocacy and public awareness-raising.

The project enables a continuous knowledge transfer among member states in an “ASEAN helps ASEAN” approach, for example through peer reviews. This is complemented with cooperation with international organisations to gain further insights and good practices. Partners include Consumers International, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), as well as other development partners active in the ASEAN region, notably Australia and New Zealand.

Last update: January 2022

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