The ASEAN Consumer Empowerment Index (ACEI) is a key initiative under the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan on Consumer Protection (ASAPCP) 2016-2025, aimed at gauging the level of awareness and competence of consumers across all ASEAN Member States (AMS), as well as their perceptions/behaviours on a number of issues including fundamental consumer rights and critical concerns. The ACEI is intended to form the evidence base for the development of appropriate consumer protection policies as well as effective law implementation in each AMS and across the region.

APCO experts supported the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) with the conceptualisation (during 2017-2018) and pilot implementation of the ACEI during 2019-2020, in collaboration with an ASEAN-German project entitled “Consumer Protection in ASEAN” (PROTECT) implemented by GIZ.

The ACEI is a composite index, calculated at country level using questionnaire-based surveys, in order to benchmark the national level of consumer empowerment in each AMS against that of the entire region.

The ACEI relies on a set of indicators that are categorised according to three main domains: Consumer Awareness or Knowledge, Consumer Skills or Competences, and Consumer Behaviours or Assertiveness. The domains cover 27 main indicators that are equally weighted. The level of empowerment (Highly Empowered, Moderately Empowered, or Least Empowered) of each AMS is measured as the average of the total individual scores of respondents from the respective country.

The ACEI 2020 is 63.7% (82.9 points out of 130), which means across the entire region, consumers are presently, on average, Moderately Empowered.

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