Monday, August 19, 2013

South East Asia and IP policies

I wrote here about the need to have bodies capable promoting IP in SE Asia's emerging markets. The corollary question is what those policies should say. Much has been written about China's National IP strategy and China's goals to be an innovator by 2020. But in South East Asia, few countries have yet focused on policy around IP.

Vietnam has now indicated it will build a national IP program under which domestic bodies cooperate to encourage creativity and exploit research initiatives, new technology and other creative achievements. The draft national IP program of Vietnam will focus on policies, IP framework and brand-management services, promotion of awareness, understanding and use of IPRs.

Philippines President Aquino has signed a law aimed at promoting Filipino creativity. The Philippine Design Competitiveness Act of 2013 seeks to create a national design policy in the country to promote economic competitiveness and innovation. The Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines is being reinvigorated, and reassigned to the Ministry of Trade to promote the creativity of Filipino culture, advocating the use of IPR protection.

There is little in the way of policy in Indonesia at least from the IP Office. The Ministry of Tourism has the Creative Economy Directorate - see here - which seeks to promote that industry. Various other ministries promote R&D, but it is not coordinated or linked to IP and business promotion.

IP is a tool for countries to encourage their own research and innovation. How countries treat IP and develop coherent policies will drive who in 20 years time will lead in the knowledge economy. South East Asia's emerging markets still have a long way to go to develop their domestic innovation. Government intervention through a clear policy structure is therefore vital.

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