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2018 Workshop on Concepts and Trends of Consumer Protection

Source:Department of Consumer Protection

In today’s fast-changing consumer environment worldwide, consumer rights can only be completely protected by the understanding of consumer trends and quick adaptation of policies and laws. The Department of Consumer Protection, Executive Yuan (DCP), in order to probe into the progression of trends of consumer protection policies and help related competent authorities advance with the times on consumer protection, held a Concepts and Trends of Consumer Protection Seminar in 2017. With the strong repercussion aroused, it was unanimously agreed that the adaptation of policies must start from the innovation of mind frame and strategies. Thus, the DCP sets to hold this workshop again in 2018 to further understand the progression of trends on policies and exchange opinions with other countries, the DCP will extend invitations to consumer protection officials or experts worldwide. Our plans for the workshop are as below:
1.Objective: Officials or experts from consumer protection organizations worldwide will be invited to share trends on consumer environment changes and innovative management mindsets and strategies.
2.Topics (Not limited to the topics below and speakers are requested to set speech topics):
a.Re-definition of the concept of “Consumer”
The definition of “consumer” sets the most important basis of the implication of consumer protection laws. Referring to the consumers acts of the EU and Japan, consumers are limited to natural persons that are engaged in non-business purposed trades. According to our consumer protection acts in Taiwan, the word “consumer” refers to persons engaged in a transaction with the aim of consumption, and users of a product or a service. Today, the definition of the term “consumer” and the definition of “consumption” is often divided between parties of administration agencies and the court. After the surge of the sharing economy, the definition of “consumer” and “consumption” seems to have changed with times. We are wondering if your organization have research results or experiences regarding this topic, such as enlarging or limiting the range of protected “consumers” in consumer protection acts. We also hope that you will be able to share the views of your country’s administrative agencies, court of law, academic circles.
b.Providing protection or support – the relationship between the government and consumers:
Compared to corporations, consumers are in a inferior position in terms of financial abilities, access to information and negotiating abilities. Thus, the government is obliged to protect basic consumer rights from violations. Nowadays, consumer rights draw attentions from the government, corporations and the media, consumers have strong consumer consciousness and the ability to uphold and defend their own rights, compared to decades ago when consumer rights were just arousing. Today, is the relationship between the government and the consumers limited to “protection”? What are the boundaries of protection? What if it calls the government to adjust to a supportive role? How far should the government extend its’ support? Please share your country’s policies through case studies.
c.Balance between administrative regulations & free economy – Relationship between the government & corporations
With the coming of digital innovations and technology had brought forth many epoch-making changes in consuming. Due to this trend, personal information abuse and fraud is a dilemma the government has to face solemnly. However, measures on corporations that the government take to protect consumer rights might not only limit business freedom but also strangle the opportunities for entrepreneurs. Therefore, the balance between market freedom and consumer protection is an issue the government needs to face. What kind of business regulatory policy should the government take in order to protect consumers? Please share your country’s policies through case studies.
3.Date of seminar: October 31, 2018 (Wednesday)
4.Venue: GIS MOTC Convention Center (No. 24, Section 1, Hangzhou South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan)
5.Organizer: The Department of Consumer Protection, Executive Yuan
6.Speakers: 5 international officials or experts and 1 local expert from consumer protection organizations will be invited and 2~6 local experts will be also invited to participate in the panel discussions. The organizer will be providing international speakers with economy class flight tickets, meals during the seminar, accommodation and transportation costs.
7.Speech duration: Every keynote speaker is requested to prepare a 30-minute presentation and will be invited to participate in panel discussions by the organizer. Speakers are requested to submit their presentation materials in English before October 5, 2018.
8.Audience: Officers from central & local governments, experts & scholars, representatives from consumer protection guoups and businesses, a total of approximately 120 persons.
9.Language: Presentations will be made in English or Chinese with simultaneous interpreters for both Chinese and English.
a.Workshop: October 31, 2018 (Wednesday)
b.Social events (courtesy of the organizer): Welcoming banquet at 6:00PM October 31. City Tour on the morning of November 1. Transportation between the airport and Taipei downtown will be arranged by the organizer.
c.Draft agenda as attached.
Contact:Senior Executive Officer Jia-Shen Chen or Shi-Min Xi, The Department of Consumer Protection, Executive Yuan. Republic of China (Taiwan).
Email:jschen@ey.gov.tw or smx@ey.gov.tw
Fax: +886-22341-7296