Regional Cooperation on Consumer Protection in ASEAN
With a market of over 600 million consumers, rising purchasing power and a young demographic profile, ASEAN represents an important market for businesses. Consumer protection policies are therefore a necessary adjunct to ensure consumers buy with trust and confidence and that businesses refrain from engaging in fraudulent practices. Furthermore, consumer policies should be able to respond to new and emerging challenges and opportunities facing ASEAN. This includes cross-border e-commerce and other new trading methods resulting from globalisation and technological advancement, requiring governments to find innovative ways to protect and promote the interests of consumers.
Increased globalization, cross border purchasing, changes in consumer demographics and advances in technological innovation are having significant influences on business and consumer behavior in ASEAN Member States (AMS). These developments require that more effort be made towards advancing the ASEAN consumer protection agenda as part of the competitive ASEAN agenda under the ASEAN Blueprint 2025. In this connection, taking cognizance of these trends, the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for Consumer Protection (ASAPCP) 2025 was developed to give further detail to the strategic measures on consumer protection under the AEC Blueprint 2025, in terms of strategic goals, initiatives and outcomes. The ASAPCP 2025 was then endorsed at the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting on 3 August 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The ASAPCP 2025 will be implemented by the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP).