Officials Call for Closer IP Ties among Belt and Road Nations

Jul.27 (China Daily) -- High-ranking officials from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative called for close regional cooperation in the intellectual property sphere at an international IP conference held in Beijing last week.

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to President Xi Jinping's 2013 proposals which seek to improve international collaboration through the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

"The prospects of IP cooperation in the region, with systemic capacity building and critical reevaluation, will ensure effective ecosystems that foster ingenuity within each member country's unique socio-economic landscapes," said Cham Nimul, under secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce in Cambodia.

"Priorities in advancing regional IP cooperation rest upon the acknowledgment that countries along the Belt and Road each have their own challenges in comprehensive and effective IP development and implementation.

"Thus, those challenges will have to be addressed domestically with regional and global outlooks," she told China Daily in an email prior to the High-level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries along the Belt and Road routes.

The event was co-hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization and several central government departments, along with the Beijing municipal government. It took place from July 21 to 22.

"Technical assistance in terms of capacity building and developing a well-planned strategic framework is key to promoting satellite ecosystems that integrate lasting cooperation between and among countries of the BRI region," Nimul said.

Sheitha Senarathna, additional secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka, said during the event that her country is "an emerging economy in the Asian region and has prioritized the upgrading and strengthening of its National Intellectual Property Office".

She said she hoped that enhanced regional cooperation and assistance could be extended specifically to "protecting genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, and copyright protection in the digital environment in the countries in the region".

Alicja Adamczak, president of the Patent Office of Poland, said: "Poland desires to play a major role in the economic and cultural cooperation with China, which was declared during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Poland in June, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

"I believe that membership of the countries from the region in the WIPO and the fact that we are all signatories of various international treaties standardizing IP protection would create a great platform for cooperation."

"Development of such collaboration would require our joint efforts as we are currently facing a unique opportunity of creating a New Silk Road that opens limitless perspectives for economic success," she added.

Abdullah Juma Al Shibli, assistant secretary general for economic and development affairs at the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, said the coordination in the policies and strategies of intellectual property and innovation is one of the most important of those priorities, and is the result of cooperation in IP information and database exchanges, capacity building and training in these fields.