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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
Bangladesh on behalf of Least-developed countries

205.   Bangladesh delivers this statement on behalf of the LDC Group. The LDC Group welcomes the annual reports on the implementation of the provisions of TRIPS Article 66.2 submitted by the developed country Members. The LDC Group also thanks the Secretariat, particularly the ITTC and the team of the IP Division, for organizing the Workshop on 2, 4 and 5 March 2021 on the implementation of technology transfer to LDCs. This annual workshop is a unique opportunity for informal dialogue between the LDCs and the developed country Members on the necessity of the right kind of technology required for the individual LDC. 206.   The technology transfer needs and priorities for of all LDCs are not the same. However, having a sound and viable technological base is important for every LDC. This would be one of the most important aspects of their progress. For this purpose, the TRIPS Article 66.2 provides a precise policy space for the LDCs. Our Group hopes that the Secretariat will be able to help, in collaboration with other relevant international organizations, assess technology transfer needs and priorities for individual LDCs upon their request. 207.   During this time of pandemic, with travel restrictions and other sanitary measures in place, the Secretariat has organized this Workshop through the virtual platform. This is a difficult choice. But this is the only viable alternative. In many LDCs the internet connection is not stable, therefore some participants have also faced difficulties. Some participants from developed country Members and least developed countries have attended from different time zones either very early in the morning or after midnight. The LDC Group appreciates their commitment. 208.   The Workshop provided opportunity for the participants, both from the LDCs and developed country Members, to meet each other in Geneva. This time it is not possible. We are hopeful that in 2022 an 'in person reunion' will be possible. 209.   The LDC Group also thanks the speakers in the Workshop who brought valuable perspectives based on their institutional experience and research. The five broad themes of the Workshop were chosen from the priorities suggested by the LDC participants in 2020. The Group believes that the presentations on these major themes by the representatives of different intergovernmental organizations and private sectors were useful. The participants from the LDCs provided feedback through a questionnaire survey prepared by the Secretariat. Our group believes that this is a good initiative and there are always rooms for improvement of this initiative in future. 210.   The LDC Group thanks the developed country Members for their annual reports under TRIPS Article 66.2. The LDC Group fully understands the efforts involved in compiling all the relevant programmes out of the many valuable projects that are implemented under each country's development assistance. The LDC Group also acknowledges the valuable benefits generated by each of the projects. The LDCs are looking for specific incentives introduced by developed country Members to encourage their companies, institutions or other entities to promote technology transfer to LDCs, in fulfilment of the obligation upon them in Article 66.2. 211.   Likewise, the LDC Group has identified that many of the reports do not clearly give information on incentives provided to enterprises and institutions in developed country Members. Instead, some reports contain a mixture of the Technical Assistance Programmes (under TRIPS Article 67) and a few technology transfer initiatives. Some of them have listed initiatives like supply of books for visually challenged persons, migration management, technical advice and practical support in public financial management, banking regulation, tax administration, macroeconomic management and national accounts, organizational reforms within the national revenue authority and so on as 'technology transfer'. The amalgam is not useful for the purpose of reporting under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. The LDC Group will provide feedback on these recent reports directly to specific individual developed country Members and seek their further cooperation to better understand some of these issues. The LDC Group acknowledges that, to create a sound and viable technological base in the LDCs, support from the developed country Members will be indispensable. Along with the LDC Group, Bangladesh stands ready to engage constructively with Members.

42. The Chair recalled that, at the Council's meeting in October 2000, the Eighteenth Annual Review under Paragraph 2 of the Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement had been on the agenda. At that meeting, delegations had briefly presented the updated reports submitted by developed country Members under Article 66.2. Since that meeting, the Council had received a further submission of an updated report from the delegation of New Zealand. At that meeting, the Council agreed that it would revert to the item at this meeting to permit continued consideration of the submitted material.
43. In July 2020, the LDC Group had circulated a submission entitled "Proposed New Template for Annual Reporting under Article 66.2 of the Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights".
44. In order to give LDCs more time to absorb the information provided by developed countries in their reports, and to ensure that these reports were available in the official languages of the WTO, the Secretariat had organized a Workshop on the Implementation of the Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. Due to the sanitary situation, the Workshop had been held in virtual format on 2, 4 and 5 March 2021. Some of the capital-based delegates who participated in the Workshop would take part in the discussions under this agenda item. She invited the Secretariat to report on the Workshop.
45. A representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
46. The representatives of the United States of America; Australia, the United Kingdom; Switzerland; Canada; Japan; the European Union; Norway; China; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; and Mozambique took the floor.
47. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/98, IP/C/M/98/Add.1