Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras)
224. The representative of Switzerland said that the Symposium had allowed LDCs and developed country Members to share practical information with regard to the needs assessment, the further evaluation of the priority needs assessments and the projects being implemented at national, bilateral, and multilateral levels. Switzerland was convinced of the importance and the benefits of the TRIPS Agreement for all Members, including LDCs. Likewise, he acknowledged the importance of technical and financial cooperation in order to assist LDCs in taking the necessary steps to implement the Agreement. Since a country like Switzerland could only provide a part of the assistance requested in LDCs' priority needs assessments, coordination among donor countries was important in order to ensure that all LDCs got assistance. 225. Besides bilateral cooperation projects carried out by donor countries under Article 67, it was critical that multilateral funding mechanisms such as the Enhanced Integrated Framework or the Aid-for-Trade initiative to which Switzerland contributed were used by LDCs and integrated into the implementation of their priority needs assessments in order to allow for sustainable results from technical assistance. Switzerland's technical cooperation activities in the context of the Article 67 were detailed in its report to the Council. 226. Switzerland had responded to the needs assessments of Bangladesh (IP/C/W/546) by undertaking since 2010 several concrete steps to develop a comprehensive IP project with Bangladesh. The Swiss IP Office had conducted two missions in Dakar, funded by the Swiss Government, to design a co-operation project and to set up a project management structure. In dialogue with the Bangladeshi government agencies, a project proposal had been developed and agreed with the main Bangladeshi stakeholders. The project was directly based on the priority needs assessments submitted by Bangladesh. Switzerland would assist Bangladesh in the formulation of IP policy as requested by it in its assessment (page 7, paragraph 39, in the table under point 1) and in the formulation of the legal acts and regulations related to the protection of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions as well as geographical indications. 227. Switzerland planned to support Bangladesh in capacity building for government officials and academics through providing specialized training. This activity would cover different IP areas, including training for international negotiations, and would be devoted to different target groups, for example to university, research and scientific institutions. The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs was funding this project over a period of three years with CHF 1,000,000. As a next step, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about the project implementation between Switzerland and Bangladesh should be signed. This was a necessary formality for starting the implementation of the project and to release the project funds in Switzerland. He was confident that this significant step would soon be taken by the Government of Bangladesh and looked forward to a fruitful cooperation with Bangladesh in the field of IPRs and implementation of its priority needs assessment.