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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Walter Werner
323.   Canada would like to thank the LDC Group for its proposal on the implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement, document IP/C/W/640 and room document RD/IP/24 which Canada will study carefully, and for the insightful discussion on the issue of technology transfer. Canada is always interested in hearing the views of LDCs in respect of their interests and priority needs in respect of technology transfer, particularly with a view to informing our own development priorities and the incentives that are provided to enterprises and institutions for the purposes of promoting technology transfer to LDCs in order to enable them to create a sound a viable technological base, pursuant to Article 66.2 TRIPS. 324.   On this note, Canada would like to highlight the valuable exchanges that take place during the annual WTO workshop on the implementation of Article 66.2 TRIPS, which provides a useful opportunity for LDCs and developed country Members to exchange experiences and priorities in this area. Canada views the annual workshop not only as an opportunity to present on developed countries' annual reports on the implementation of Article 66.2, but also to arrive at a clearer under-standing of LDCs' specific technology transfer priorities and sectors of interest, as well as notable projects and best practices in this area. 325.   Further to the LDC Group proposal to deliberate on the meaning of "incentives to enterprises and institutions", the annual workshop could provide a venue to draw commonalities and best practices from developed countries' annual reports, with a view to better informing Members of how future incentives and projects in the area of technology transfer might best respond to LDCs' evolving priorities and needs. As the annual workshop will be held on the margins of the next TRIPS Council meeting in November 2018, it would serve as a useful opportunity for further practical and evidence-based discussion on these issues. Canada is open to discussion with any interested Members on how the workshop can be enhanced in this regard. 326.   Canada also takes note of the interest expressed in the LDC proposal to interpret the meaning of "incentives" under Article 66.2, such as with regard to conditions for contracts tendered by governments. Canada would like to reiterate that governments may be limited in the extent to which technology transfer can be required on a contractual basis, and that Canada's longstanding position has been to encourage technology transfer on voluntary and mutually-agreed terms. Nonetheless, and without prejudice to Canada's position on this issue, Canada would be interested in further information from LDCs on this proposal, including specific examples of how contractual requirements have been used to facilitate technology transfer, as well as any best practices in this area. 327.   At the same time, while noting the interest in deliberating on the meaning of "incentives", it is also important not to lose sight of the outputs of technology transfer, specifically in how specific initiatives meet LDCs' needs and priorities. In addition to the specific incentives provided, we are also interested in getting a clearer indication of LDCs' priority sectors and technologies, in order to ensure that these priorities are integrated into the types of incentives, projects, and initiatives that Canada supports in promoting international development. 328.   Canada also takes note of the LDC proposal that developed countries' Article 66.2 reports "only specify incentives provided to least developed countries for technology transfer". Canada is always open to suggestions from LDCs on how to make our annual report more targeted and clear, while also ensuring that the report provides a comprehensive overview of the range of incentives provided on this issue. We note, for instance, that Canada's annual report follows the format proposed by LDCs in the context of the 2011 document IP/C/W/561, and remain open to further discussion on the reporting format in view of providing the most useful and informative information, pursuant to Article 66.2. 329.   Canada would once again like to thank the LDC Group for its proposal, and for the views shared on this issue. We remain open to discussing with any interested Members following this meeting of the TRIPS Council, including in view of the upcoming workshop on this issue in the fall in the margins of the next TRIPS Council meeting.
39.   The Chair said that the Central African Republic, on behalf of the LDC Group, had requested the inclusion of the agenda item "LDC Group Proposal on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement". Reference had been made to an earlier communication from the LDC Group, on the same topic, that had already been introduced at the Council's last meeting (circulated in document IP/C/W/640). As requested by Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC Group, he had also facilitated an informal meeting between representatives from the LDC Group and developed country Members, which had taken place the previous week. Those initial discussions of the LDC Group Proposal had focused on the incentives needed to encourage companies to transfer technologies to LDCs and on the reporting mechanism. They had been very constructive.
40.   As follow up to that initial discussion, the LDC Group had also made available an illustrative list of incentives for consideration by Members. Printed copies of the room document RD/IP/24 had been made available for delegations in French and English.
41.   The representatives of Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group; Bangladesh; the United States; India; Norway; New Zealand; the European Union; Canada; Australia; Switzerland; Japan; Brazil; and Nepal took the floor.
42.   The Chair said that he would continue to facilitate consultations amongst Members to find possible solutions.
43.   Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/89, IP/C/M/89/Add.1