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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
Bangladesh on behalf of LDC Group

145.   Under this item, the delegation of Bangladesh delivers this statement on behalf of the LDC Group. The LDC Group thanks the reporting countries for submitting their respective reports of 2022 to the Council for TRIPS on how each is implementing its obligation under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. The LDC Group also thanks the Secretariat for its report today. The LDC Group is grateful to the Secretariat, particularly, the team of the IP Division and ITTC, for organizing the annual Workshop held on 14-15 March 2023. This is a unique opportunity for informal dialogue between the LDCs and developed country Members on the necessity of the right kind of technology required for the LDCs. Our Group thanks all the participants, from the LDCs and developed countries, for their contribution to the Workshop. 146.   We fully understand the effort involved in compiling a large part of the relevant programmes out of the many valuable projects that are implemented under each country's official development assistance (ODA). The LDC Group acknowledges the valuable socio-economic benefits generated by each of the projects reported and urges other developed country Members who also have valuable development cooperation projects or programmes, to share these. Last year, on behalf of the LDC Group, we provided opinions to each individual reporting delegation on their 2021 reports. We trust that those comments were helpful for their reports in the next cycles. 147.   The LDCs are looking for new specific incentives introduced by developed countries to encourage companies, enterprises, institutions or other entities located in their territories to promote technology transfer to LDCs, in fulfilment of their obligation under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. The LDCs are specifically looking for technologies and skills to improve the quality, local value addition and global competitiveness of their products, as well as integration into global supply chains. 148.   We know that several national and international entities are working towards achieving the UN-led sustainable development goals (SDGs), and we would call for closer coordination as the same developed country governments are involved in these efforts. Where "capacity building" is mentioned in the programme or project description, and where a conscious effort is made to upgrade skill levels and to transfer technology to LDCs, it would be worth knowing what actual impact was made with respect to technology absorption in the LDCs concerned. In other words, could the reporting countries kindly share with the LDCs the final project evaluation report? This is a necessary tool for evaluating all such ODA projects related to capacity building. 149.   While almost all reporting countries have reported on a large number of very useful ODA projects aimed at meeting social or other laudable objectives (such as improving health, education, gender equality, community integration/democratic participation, road safety, climate change, environmental/biodiversity conservation, natural disaster management, infrastructure, effective administration, governance or regulation, implementation of WTO agreements, or meeting SDG objectives, other than SDG 17), and while these may very well have one or other useful technologies applied or used (such as digital/ICT tools), we would not assume that this would automatically lead to the promotion and encouragement of technology transfer to LDCs in the projects that ought to be reported under the TRIPS Article 66.2 obligation unless this was the principal objective of these projects. 150.   While a number of reported ODA projects may involve introducing new products into the industrial or agricultural sectors of LDCs by foreign consultants or companies or entities, if these do not involve any actual technology absorption in the LDC concerned, even if it does result in the use of new products in that LDC, these should not be reported under the Article 66.2 obligation. 151.   The LDC Group accepts that many projects reported have a mix of developing countries and LDCs as beneficiaries. However, we request developed countries to separate the budget and goal allocation for LDC beneficiary countries and not to report the names of developing country beneficiaries. For regional integrated projects, the names of these developing country beneficiary countries may be relevant but should always be placed in parentheses. It is necessary to have the final allocation for each LDC, and the LDC Group very much appreciates the EU's effort to do so for the EU projects. The LDC Group encourages other reporting Members to follow this excellent example. 152.   While most reporting countries have, in recent years, separated the Article 66.2 and Article 67 reports to avoid duplication, some reporting Members still duplicate these projects/programmes on IP training etc. The LDC Group requests reporting Members to avoid such double counting in their future reports. 153.   The LDC Group requests more specific information and the correct websites with contact points for each relevant project, which should include, at the minimum, the name of the persons responsible for the project and their emails. Many reporting countries have already provided this. Therefore, it should not be difficult for other reporting Members. We also hope that the priority technology sectors highlighted by the LDCs will be considered by the developed countries when initiating the next targeted projects and programmes in this regard. 154.   Articles 7 and 8 of the TRIPS Agreement provide that IP rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and transfer and dissemination of technology. We understand that the aim is clearly to support the socio-economic development in developing countries and LDCs. This also matches with the core objective of the 2030 Agenda for the SDGs: leave no one behind. 155.   Some LDC Members are in the row of graduation from the LDC category. Their GDP may have increased, but this does not necessarily mean that they have fully developed their institutional capacity to access and regulate technologies required for creating a viable technological base. They need technology transfer support and realistic timeframe for applying the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. The LDC group stands ready to engage constructively with Members.

48. The Council took note of the statements made.
43. The Chair recalled that the Council had conducted the Twentieth Annual Review under Paragraph 2 of the Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement at its meeting in October 2022. At that meeting delegations from developed country Members had briefly presented the updated reports they had submitted under Article 66.2, and the Council had agreed that it would revert to the item at the present meeting to permit continued consideration of the submitted material. He also recalled that, in July 2020, the LDC Group had circulated a new submission entitled "Proposed New Template for Annual Reporting under Article 66.2 of the Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights" in document .
44. In order to give LDCs more time to absorb the information provided by developed country Members in their reports, and to ensure that these reports were available in the working languages of the WTO, the Secretariat had once again organized a "Workshop on the Implementation of the Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement" which had taken place on 14-15 March 2023, immediately preceding the meeting. The Chair indicated that a number of capital-based delegates who had participated in that Workshop were present at the meeting.
45. The Chair asked the Secretariat to report on this Workshop.
46. A representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
47. The representatives of Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; Sierra Leone; the United Kingdom; Nepal; Benin; Bangladesh; Switzerland; Haiti; Mali; the United States of America; the European Union; Australia; Japan; Canada; Norway; Malawi; and Sudan took the floor.
48. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/107, IP/C/M/107/Add.1