HO CHI MINH CITY, 12 August 2017 – E-Commerce has opened up various windows of opportunities for companies and investors, including SMEs, by significantly lowering barriers to entry and operating costs for businesses. At the same time, the Internet has provided consumers with a powerful tool for searching and buying goods and services leading to increased competition and lower prices with more choice of products and services.

Increased cross border trade, e-commerce and other new trading methods resulting from globalization and technological advancement require governments to find innovative ways of protecting and promoting the interests of consumers.

In this regard, the ASEAN-Korea Brainstorming Meeting on Building a Regional Online Dispute Resolution System and Interagency Coordination Mechanism to Improve Consumer Protection in E-Commerce and the Training Workshop on Capacity Enhancement in Investigating and Handling E-Consumer Disputes were held from August 8-11 in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

Mr. Trinh Anh Tuan, Acting Director-General of the Vietnam Competition Authority, highlighted that the trend of e-commerce in Asia Pacific has increased making the region one of the most active e-commercial zones in the world. In turn, Mr. Kwon Jae-Ik, Executive Director of the Korea Consumer Agency expressed the need for joint efforts between ASEAN and Korea in handling cross-border e-consumer disputes.

The Brainstorming Meeting enabled participants to examine trends in the digital economy and exchanged views on best practices in applying the online dispute resolution system in ASEAN Member States, Korea and the European Union. Similarly, the training provided participants the fundamental skills to resolve e-consumer disputes through the various case studies.

The Meeting was participated in by members of the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection, the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Electronic Commerce as well experts from the Korea Competition Commission, the  European Union Commission, and Consumer International.

It was organised by the Vietnam Competition Authority and the Korea Consumer Agency, with support from the ASEAN Secretariat under the ASEAN-Korean Economic Cooperation Fund.