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UNCTAD, CSRG join hands to resolve consumer disputes

Jul '19
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the China Silk Road Group (CSRG), a private sector entity supporting the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, recently signed an agreement to deliver online dispute resolution to consumers in South-east Asia as a tool to improve international trade and e-commerce.

Since the UN guidelines on consumer protection were last revised in 2015, UNCTAD has been entrusted by the UN General Assembly with the mandate to advance consumer protection in the new digital era.

“Building trust among digital consumers – and securing innovative solutions to protect them – is critical for ensuring developing countries gain from cross-border e-trade,” UNCTAD secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi said.

The 2019 UNCTAD/Ipsos global survey on internet security and trust showed that distrust in the internet is causing people to change the way they behave online, with 49% of respondents saying their distrust has caused them to disclose less personal information online.

“If a consumer has a way of solving disputes in a cheap, fast and fair manner, he or she will be more eager to engage online, especially in cross-border e-commerce,” UNCTAD’s head of consumer protection, Teresa Moreira, said.

The project by UNCTAD and CSRG is expected to speed things up. Malaysia and Thailand will benefit from the pilot project, according to an UNCTAD press release. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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