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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter (South Africa)

374.   Canada is pleased to take this opportunity to present an overview of Canada's most recent report on the implementation of TRIPS Article 66.2, which was submitted to the WTO Secretariat in October 2020. We thank the Secretariat in advance for its efforts in circulating Canada's report following this session. As in previous years, Canada's report has been developed to reflect certain criteria requested by LDCs at the October 2008 and October 2010 workshops, as well as the format proposed by LDCs in October 2011, in document IP/C/W/561. 375.   Canada's report is divided into two sections: the first provides a broad overview of Canada's approach to the implementation of TRIPS Article 66.2, including on the types of incentives provided and the thematic areas under which technology is transferred under this commitment. It also presents the range of entities in Canada that administer incentives for the promotion of tech transfer to LDCs. The second section includes an annex of ongoing, notable projects undertaken in recent years, with key details on each LDC-focused initiative, including project overviews, outcomes, and contact points. As we have pointed out in previous discussions, Canada's reporting on Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement focuses primarily on informal, non-market incentives to promote technology transfer to LDCs. This includes projects financed by Government of Canada departments, agencies, and Crown corporations, in partnership with private enterprises and institutions through official development assistance, grants, and other concessional financing. 376.   The initiatives outlined in Canada's 2020 report are varied in nature, and respond to the broad range of thematic needs and priorities identified by LDCs in cooperation with Canadian enterprises, institutions, and development practitioners. With this in mind, Canada remains interested in hearing the experiences and interests of LDC Members in specific projects and priorities, as well as the experiences of other developed country Members, with a view to identifying best practices and commonalities. Canada would be pleased to discuss any aspect of its 2020 Report with interested LDC Members, and looks forward to constructive engagement on these important issues, including in the context of the TRIPS Article 66.2 workshop in early-2021.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
54. The Chair recalled that, under a Council decision of February 2003, developed country Members were to submit annual reports on actions taken or planned in pursuance of their commitments under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. They were to provide new detailed reports every third year and updates in the intervening years.
55. In July 2020, the Council had requested developed country Members to submit the second set of updates to the sixth set of new reports in time for the present meeting, and the Secretariat had also circulated a reminder.
56. The LDC Group had also submitted a proposal of a template for the submission of reports on commitments of developed countries under Article 66.2. In her consultations in September 2020, the LDC Group had indicated that they were reaching out to developed countries in this regard.
57. The Council had received updated reports from the United States, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Since the circulation of the revised agenda, the Council had received further reports from the European Union and Canada. The documents were being circulated under the new dedicated document series with the symbol IP/C/R/TTI/[Member]/1 – where "R" stood for "Reports" and "TTI" stood for "Technology Transfer Incentives".
58. Paragraph 2 of the Council's Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 explained that the annual review should provide Members with an opportunity to pose questions in relation to the information submitted and request additional information; discuss the effectiveness of the incentives provided in promoting and encouraging technology transfer to least developed country Members in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base; and consider any points relating to the operation of the reporting procedure established by the Decision.
59. Some of the information by developed country Members had been received only very recently, and most of it was, so far, available only in its original language. She intended to give Members an opportunity to make further comments at the next meeting of the Council to give Members a chance to study the recently circulated information and any additional information subsequently submitted.
60. The Secretariat was planning to hold the Article 66.2 Workshop in early 2020. Considering the current situation, the dates had not yet been fixed and would be announced as soon as they are finalized. This would give LDC Members enough time to consider the information provided by developed country Members in their reports and to ensure that these reports are available in the official languages of the WTO. It would also be an opportunity to discuss the proposal of the template for reporting on commitments, presented by the LDC Group. The Workshop would comprise two days of sessions, and a reporting and review segment within the first TRIPS Council meeting of 2021. She invited developed country Members to introduce their reports.
61. The representatives of the United Kingdom; Australia; South Africa; Japan; Switzerland; Bangladesh; Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group; Canada; Indonesia; the United States of America; Australia; and the European Union took the floor.
62. The Chair proposed that Members be given an opportunity to continue considering the information provided at the next meeting.
63. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/96, IP/C/M/96/Add.1