It brought together consumer protection agencies, consumer associations, international organisations, academicians, private sectors, and the general public from within and beyond ASEAN.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh said: “The conference is timely as ASEAN is currently addressing emerging issues resulting from the advent of the digital economy and the increase of cross-border trade. Digital transformation pushes ASEAN focus on e-Commerce, develop regional B2C dispute resolution and to further strengthening consumer movement in ASEAN.”
“We are already living in a new era where the concerns on consumer protection raised are pressing,” remarked Dr Moe Moe Thwe, Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP). “We need to expedite the implementation of our initiatives and action plans across sectors, grow consumer movement and inspire a new generation of well-informed consumers who will have no second thought on taking action to deal with the challenges of the new economy that is before us to preserve the environment and sustain the planet that we live in for future generations.”
In her keynote speech, Ann Claire C. Cabochan, Assistant Secretary for the Consumer Protection Group of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines, stated: “Although consumers in ASEAN are moderately empowered, new consumer protection challenges and the continuing global and economic crisis we are facing due to the persistence of the pandemic, requires us to further empower consumers.”
She urged the member states to collectively plan to address these challenges so as to build a fair and future-ready marketplace in ASEAN.
The 3rd ACPC covers three thematic sessions which are: Laying the Foundation for Inclusive Digital Transformation in ASEAN; Scanning the Horizon – Towards the ‘New Normal’ for B2C Dispute Resolution in ASEAN; and Empower Consumers – Strengthening the Consumer Movement in ASEAN.
The conference was co-organised by DTI of the Philippines, the ACCP and the ASEAN Secretariat. The convening of the conference was supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, under the “Consumer Protection in ASEAN” (PROTECT) project.