Asia-Pacific’s poorest countries ready to advance on intellectual property – UN official

21 July 2010

The Asia-Pacific’s poorest countries stand to improve enormously from being part of a streamlined and clear intellectual property system, a senior United Nations official says in a call to government ministers from across the region to help their countries achieve their full potential.

Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), told a high-level forum held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, this week that the region’s least developing countries (LDCs) have the most to gain.

“We believe that the potential of your countries to contribute to, and to benefit from, the intellectual property system is enormous,” Mr. Gurry said. “That is why we are trying to develop tools and provide policy and technical support to help this region reach its capacity.”

Government ministers, lawmakers and IP experts from 12 so-called LDCs – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Maldives, Kiribati, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Yemen – across the Asia-Pacific region participated in the two-day forum, which wrapped up yesterday.

The forum discussed national experiences regarding IP and patents and trademarks, as well as issues concerning branding export products, traditional knowledge and national innovation strategies.

During a three-day visit to Bangladesh Mr. Gurry also held talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other key Government officials and policymakers.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

UN agencies strengthen ties to support industry and trade in poorer countries

The United Nations agency tasked with promoting industrial development and its intellectual properties counterpart today pledged closer cooperation to help developing countries build industrial capacity and gain a foothold in the global economy through innovative trade measures.