Foreign direct investment is on the rise in Vietnam, testifying to foreign investors’ confidence in the protection of Intellectual Property rights (IPRs) in the country, says EC-ASEAN Intellectual Property rights Cooperation Program (ECAP II) Director Nic
According to experts, any country can find it difficult to implement IPRs as intellectual property in the fast-changing globalisation process has become a burning issue for every nation. The copying of copyrights, studies and design models is becoming a common occurrence in the developing economies, causing major concern for investors.
Markus Cornaro, Ambassador and Head of the EC Delegation to Vietnam said that the protection of IPRs is a very important issue to boost trade and economic development. If the countries apply protective measures to a high standard level, it can further attract investors, intensify inventions and develop more strongly than those applying limited protection standards.
Foreign investors’ Intellectual Property rights in their research and design in Vietnam must be guaranteed so that they can share experience in developing technology and designs with Vietnam.
One of the EU’s targets in relations with Asian nations is how to promote mutual trade and investment, it has launched a host of different programmes including ECAP II. ECAP II valued at 1.5 million euros has been conducted in Vietnam since 2004 with a focus on perfecting the legal framework, reinforcing management capacity, and raising public awareness of Intellectual Property rights.
Under the ECAP II, more than 30 different activities concerning legislation and implementation of IPRs were implemented in 2006 in collaboration with Vietnamese agencies such as the General Department of Customs, and the Economic Police Department.
Mr Markus said the EC selected Vietnam to implement the project due to the country’s strong commitment on intellectual property (IP) under the WTO framework and its heavy fines for counterfeiting and low-quality products. This is a requirement of the international community. Vietnam has made steady progress in IP, Mr Markus said.
After the ECAP II, Vietnam has made great efforts in implementing IP rights and ECAP II has provided significant support in helping Vietnam to build a legal framework, says Tran Viet Hung, deputy head of the Vietnam National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP). The debut of the IP Law in 2005 is a typical example. Thanks to ECAP II, local people’s awareness of IP has been improved. The number of applications for registering IP rights has increased sharply.
Mr Markus affirmed that Vietnam accomplished important steps towards complying with international standards on intellectual property in 2006. It also showed its effort in implementing the new Intellectual Property Law, enacting by-law documents as well as joining important international conventions such as the Madrid Protocol and the UPOV Convention.
Niclas G.Morey, director of ECAP II said Vietnam has made significant progress in IP protection. Vietnam joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ) in 1995 and made more progress than other member countries. Foreign direct investment has increased strongly, showing investors’ trust in the country’s IP protection.
ECAP II will finish late this year but the EC will continue providing support for Vietnam.
Mr Markus said the EC is striving to bring out the third ECAP which is a cooperation programme among European Committee, the European Union and ASEAN. Vietnam is one of the most important member under the co-operation framework.
Implementation of IP rights aims not only to meet international standards but also help Vietnam strengthen development of science and technology and attract more investors.