From August 2015 till November 2016, APCO experts supported the formulation of the ASEAN Competition Action Plan (ACAP) 2016-2025. The ACAP aims at supporting the work of the ASEAN Experts’ Group on Competition (AEGC) beyond 2015 and building an “effective and progressive competition regime with strengthened capacities” in the ASEAN region by 2025. It includes clear targets and timelines for regional initiatives/activities, and is accompanied by an Implementation Schedule, which charts the proposed sequence, tentative timeline, and initial considerations for implementation modalities of several activities envisaged in the Plan from 2016 till 2020. More information on the ACAP could be found at <https://asean.org/storage/2012/05/ACAP-Website-23-December-2016.pdf>.
From June till November 2020, the ACAP will undergo a Mid-Term Review (MTR), which is meant to take stock of the achievements and progresses and draw any lessons learnt so far to enable appropriate adjustments to the original Plan, as well as the development of a new 5-year Implementation Schedule till 2025. APCO experts are privileged to be invited to contribute to this MTR, in collaboration with an ASEAN-German project entitled “Promotion of Competitiveness within the Framework of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration” (COMPETE) implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
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.
For more information, please visit < https://aseanconsumer.org >.
From May 2019 till February 2020, APCO experts supported the development of a Trainers’ Guide to Market Studies by the AEGC. This is a convenient and user-friendly primer on how to conduct market studies for/by competition agencies in ASEAN and beyond.
The guide describes different types of market studies; lists various steps/stages in a typical market study project; and discusses important considerations, essential concepts to analyze competition, and relevant techniques in information collection and analysis, etc in great details. It also contains a Trainers’ Kit providing guidance for trainers on using the contents of the document in future trainings.
The Trainers' Guide could be found and downloaded from the website of the AEGC at <https://asean-competition.