But the election of new Prime Minister Yingluk in Thailand presents such an opportunity. The Bangkok Post reports Tuesday that various organisations including the private sector committee for the protection of intellectual property rights and the Intellectual Property Rights Association of Thailand are urging the new government to put IP on the national agenda of the new government.
The Philippines' IP office has a roadmap, which I blogged about here, but that is a long way from national policy. A rash of news reports in Indonesia in the last month demonstrate the lack of any real policy. One director general at the National Education Ministry, Djoko Santoso complained just days ago about the severe shortage of researchers in applied science and technology, a problem that is affecting the nation’s competitiveness on the global stage, he says. Democratic governments in SE Asia often struggle to link policies across government departments which may have their own priorities.
China's growing lead is evidence of the importance of a coherent policy linking multiple elements, government departments and policies. South East Asia countries are already lagging. Thailand has a chance to push ahead.