The 52nd ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) meeting and related meetings were held in Vientiane, Lao PDR from February 14-17 under the co-chair of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation.

Co-chairs at the meeting were Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Mr Houmphanh Intharath, Director General of the Department of Intellectual Property Ms Khanlasy Keobounphanh, and Chairperson of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation Ms. Shahrinah Md Yusof Khan.

The meeting continued discussions on the ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2016-2025 and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest.  Participants drawn up plans to implement collective steps to carry forward the key initiatives and deliverables that will make ASEAN more competitive and innovative.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the meeting, Mr Houmphanh said that Intellectual Property (IP) is crucial to this endeavour. Twenty one years ago in 1996, ASEAN formed the AWGIPC, consisting of the heads of the ASEAN IP offices. The focus was initially on meeting the challenges of IP, but over time, it has broadened to work towards the creation of a vibrant IP ecosystem for businesses.

It is important to note that the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 was a major milestone in achieving the regional economic integration agenda, including the promotion of regional development frameworks in the area of intellectual property rights.

With the AWGIPC commitment to build on the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Intellectual Property Cooperation and make intellectual property a vehicle of deeper economic integration in ASEAN, it thus contributes to the goals of AEC 2025.

Working together as a regional bloc, ASEAN countries have the potential to become one of the world’s most important players in the global intellectual property landscape and achieving the AEC Blueprint by 2025.

With intensified collaboration among ASEAN member states, and with each one of our countries striving to develop its respective IP systems, we can achieve a robust and highly integrated intellectual property ecosystem and our region can become the hub of intellectual property in this part of the world in the next 5 to 10 years according to the new ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2016-2025, which has underlines 19 initiatives to be implemented with the next ten years.

Lao PDR is fully committed to working with fellow AWGIPC Members to ensure the implementation of the new initiatives toward establishing an ASEAN IP network, on-line national IPR helpdesks, to promote a protection mechanism for Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expressions (GRTKTCE), supporting the improvement of trademark services in the region.

“Today, ASEAN is the world’s seventh largest economy and is projected to become the fourth-largest economic bloc by 2030,” Ms. Shahrinah said at the opening of the meeting.

“The meeting also comes after the recent endorsement of the Consolidated Strategic Action for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025,” she added.

This comprehensive document was developed based on the work plans under various sectors of the AEC to serve as the operational framework for the AEC Blueprint 2025.

 

Copyright: KPL Lao PDR