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Asia-Pacific Bodies: ASEAN releases integration report 2019

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations ('ASEAN') released, on 26 November 2019, the ASEAN Integration Report 2019 ('the Report'). In particular, the Report considers the implementation of four strategic goals related to consumer protection, including a common ASEAN consumer protection framework, ensuring a high level of consumer empowerment and a high confidence in cross-border commercial transactions, and the integration of consumer concerns in all ASEAN policies. Moreover, the Report notes that nine member states had enacted consumer protection laws and that Cambodia would soon join them, that handbooks and a product recall portal had been established, and that work on an alternative dispute resolution mechanism is ongoing.

In addition, the Report emphasises the importance of personal information protection in relation to e-commerce, and highlights the role of ASEAN frameworks in supporting data protection. Furthermore, the Report assesses ASEAN's readiness for the fourth industrial revolution ('4IR'), compares member states' 4IR preparations, and details initiatives related to 4IR, including strengthening cybersecurity.

You can read the press release here and the Report here.