DA NANG, 7 September 2016 – Building trust and confidence of consumers in e-commerce is a cornerstone of ASEAN’s and Korea’s e-commerce policies in enhancing the value and potential of e-commerce in the region.  This was highlighted at the ASEAN-Korea Workshop on E-Commerce “Enhancing Consumer Protection” in Da Nang, Viet Nam, 5-6 September.

The workshop addressed issues in legal frameworks for consumer protection in e-commerce, especially business to consumers (B2C) transactions, as well as sharing of the best practices on emerging issues in e-consumer protection. It also addressed several challenges such as the fast growing online retail and consumer marketplace, the rise of cross-border e-commerce consumer disputes and the need for regional cooperation mechanisms in protecting consumers.

Further, the workshop discussed the need for better tools to detect e-commerce fraud such as trust marks, e-business registration, IP identification, website trawler software; as well as improving the legal frameworks to address fraud, consumer redress and data privacy; and strengthening the institutional capacity to enhance enforcement.

It is also noted that technological developments, the internet of things, lifestyle changes and a young population is fuelling ASEAN’s and Korea’s e-commerce boom. H.E. Mr Penn Sovicheat, Director-General, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia and the Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection stated that “ASEAN’s own booming population and young consumers, who are technology and internet savvy, are supporting the robust growth in consumption, both in the traditional retail sector as well as through e-commerce platforms.”

Dr. Trinh Anh Tuan, Deputy Director-General, Viet Nam Competition Authority, highlighted the huge potential of e-commerce in the region, with the share of B2C e-commerce in Asia-Pacific increasing from 27.9% in 2011 to 40% in 2016 of global sales.  Mr. Gu Kyung-tae, Head of Team, Korea Consumer Agency, underlined the need for greater international cooperation in addressing consumer protection issues and cross-border consumer complaints.

Both ASEAN and Korea agreed to review the recommendations for greater cooperation in consumer protection in e-commerce, including both formal and informal cooperation.

The ASEAN-Korea Workshop was organised by the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) and the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA), with support under the ASEAN-Korean Economic Cooperation Fund.