ASEAN officials meet on intellectual property cooperation

VIENTIANE, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered in Lao capital Vientiane on Tuesday for the 52nd ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC).

The meeting aims to continue discussions on the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Action Plan 2016-2025 and exchange views on matters of mutual interest. Participants intend to draw up plans to implement collective steps to carry forward the key initiatives and deliverables that will make ASEAN more competitive and innovative, according to Lao state-run news agency KPL.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Lao Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Houmphanh Intharath said that Intellectual Property (IP) is crucial to this endeavour. ASEAN formed the AWGIPC in 1996, 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.

With the AWGIPC commitment to building on the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Intellectual Property Cooperation and making 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 ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint by 2025, the minister told the meeting.

"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 underlined 19 initiatives to be implemented within the next ten years," said the official.

The meeting of the Working Group is scheduled to last till Friday.

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