256. The representative of Argentina said that, under the TRIPS Agreement, IPRs had become a component of international trade arrangements. Minimum standards of protection set in the Agreement involved significant legal and institutional transformations in many developing and least-developed countries. The Agreement gave rise to a significant increase in the flow of fees from those countries to the industrialized countries. She said that the World Bank considered that, for six developed countries, the net increase in fees deriving from patents as from the entry into force of the TRIPS Agreement represented US$40 billion. According to her, the total earned by those countries, if all types of intellectual property rights were taken into account, was estimated by the World Bank at US$60 billion.
257. She said that the complex economic implications deriving from agreements on intellectual property, particularly the TRIPS Agreement, had raised numerous questions and concerns at the international level. Whilst this complexity made it difficult to arrive easily at a single answer, she said that there was concurrence in pointing out the difficulty in identifying the positive effects of the TRIPS Agreement for developing and least-developed countries. Furthermore, recent studies had shown that intellectual property did not seem to have played an important role when enterprises in developed countries had decided upon their transactions and investments in developing and least-developed countries. There was no systematic proof as to how stronger IP protection had influenced the flow of transfer of technology. Recent World Bank studies had concluded that enhanced protection had led neither to a greater number of licensing contracts nor generated greater transfer of technology ("Intellectual Property and Development. Lessons from Recent Economic Research", World Bank, 2005).
258. She added that, with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, WTO Members had started to consider the concerns of developing and least-developed countries in connection with the TRIPS Agreement. She said that still more would have to be done in order to strike a proper balance between the creation of private incentives and the achievement of the required transfer of technology and meeting of development objectives. The growing concern of developing countries had recently been voiced in WIPO, where Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Peru, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Venezuela had tabled a proposal for the establishment of a WIPO development agenda. Explaining the basic concepts of this proposal, she said that, in order to ensure proper protection for intellectual property, guarantees would also have to be given concerning transfer of technology and investment flows so as to reduce the growing technological divide between developed and developing countries. National IP policies would have to be coherent with the technological, industrial, cultural, social and public interests of developing countries as well as of LDCs, which would have to have the required flexibility to meet these objectives.
259. Argentina, therefore, regarded it necessary to approach IP protection as a function of the balance which must be struck between the interests of the private sector and public sector investments relating to development as laid down by in Articles 7 and 8 of the Agreement. In Argentina's view, IPRs, not being an end in themselves, could only contribute to economic and social development if they were integrated in national objectives when defining public policy. It was obvious that they could not contribute to development if they were considered in isolation, outside the domain of national interest and outside the development objectives of developing and least-developed countries.
260. Being aware of the difficulties that LDCs and developing countries faced in implementing the TRIPS Agreement notwithstanding their efforts, she supported the request made by Zambia on behalf of the LDCs to the effect that an extension of the transitional period for these countries be granted.