Looking at IPR from the other, domestic side, an interesting report from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), shows some interesting innovation gap metrics about Vietnam. The country has 24,300 PhDs and 101,000 masters; the most professors and PhDs in South East Asia. No surprises there since perhaps the best communist era legacy was a focus on education. But academia stops there. No Vietnamese university has been listed in the world’s top 500 universities. The number of scientific publications each year is about the same as a single Thai university. That results in a serious lack of innovation - from 2006-2010, Vietnam only had 200 patents and utility models granted to local companies, and only 5 US patents. This is far below other ASEAN countries.
As reported here on Indonesia, until local IP ownership increases, the demands for improved IP protection come only from foreign enterprises. And if weak local R&D prevents the growth of local IP countries like Indonesia and Vietnam remain trapped in the innovation gap. The simply won't get the competitive edge that the knowledge economy brings to a country and its businesses.