VIENTIANE, LAO PDR – On February 26, 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) officially launched a new consumer protection website developed with support from the United States government. The website, made possible with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will help protect consumers from unfair business practices.
The launch, held at MOIC’s offices in Vientiane, was chaired by H.E Somchit Inthamith, Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Bounthien Keosipha, Director General of Internal Trade Department, MOIC and Mr. Patrick Bowers, Deputy Country Office Director of USAID Laos. More than 70 representatives from government agencies and the private sector attended.
“The consumer protection website is an exciting new tool for people across Laos,” said Mr. Patrick Bowers. “High standards in the marketplace help to ensure consumers get good value for their money, but also create a level playing field for hard working entrepreneurs and business people offering high-quality products and services.”
The new consumer protection website informs consumers of their rights, offers tips for safe and smart shopping, and presents the options available to consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly. The public can also use the website to file complaints about fraudulent or abusive behavior, offering a digital alternative to the 1510 Consumer Protection Hotline. The website also features a video, produced with USAID assistance, which illustrates how consumers can protect themselves by using the 1510 hotline.
U.S. Government support for consumer protection is provided through the USAID LUNA II program, designed to help Laos further integrate into the global economy by supporting efforts to develop and implement modern, transparent, and inclusive economic policies and regulations consistent with international standards.
The consumer protection website may be accessed at www.lcp.gov.la.