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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
European Union
193.   I would like to congratulate and thank the Secretariat for the organisation of the Workshop and the LDCs for their kind and very proactive participation. The very frank and positive dialogue we had was very useful, and I look forward to contributing to our discussion further. As mentioned several times, the European Union and its member States take our commitment under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement very seriously. We provided proof year after year of having promptly and attentively reacted to natural, social, health, climate, food, agricultural and economic changes by implementing projects specifically tailored to the current needs of LDCs individually, or their regional organizations. We try to match with the needs and priorities as identified by the survey. 194.   The EU has submitted its annual report which provides a detailed update on the EU technology transfer programmes. This document was circulated in accordance with the Decision of 19 February 2003. Our programmes cover the period of July 2021 to July 2022 and can be found in the e-TRIPS portal. I would like to thank again the Secretariat for the help and support with the use of this tool because it is not very easy to manage having many member States and also our own programmes. 195.   As said, in addition to the EU-financed programmes, this year, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Sweden sent reports to the European Commission on technology transfer. As the United States of America said, our report submitted is not an exhaustive list of all the programmes provided but gives a vast range of examples. Moreover, it is quite complete even if we cannot cover all the initiatives done and maintained between private entities. Our report has a total of 123 technology transfer programmes, including 24 projects funded by the EU institutions. 196.   In our view, the main incentive to promote technology transfer provided to EU enterprises, companies or universities are the grants, but also the public-private partnerships financed by the EU institutions and the EU member States. Our main financial source is the Horizon Europe framework programme with a total budget of EUR 96 billion. At the workshop, the Secretariat mentioned the EU several times, as an example, the EU supports the financing of 39 environment programmes benefitting around 41 LDCs, and around 20 agriculture programmes in the period of 2021-2022. 197.   Considering the packed agenda for today’ for the meeting, and as we have already presented our report in autumn last year, we would like to refer only to our interventions on this topic in previous meetings and in the last Workshop. I would like just to mention that something was shared with the LDCs on the importance of absorptive capacity of LDCs for successful technology transfer. We agree with many LDCs that absorption capacity is very important and notably the training as highlighted by Switzerland. 198.   Finally, I would like to mention two topics or issues raised by the LDCs. The first is the definition of clear evaluation and the sharing of this evaluation tool which is certainly something we have to progress on and the need to raise and organise a dialogue at national level in the LDCs for them to be ready to receive and manage properly all the technology transfer programmes provided by the developed countries. On a more practical aspect, we will try next time to improve our reporting, and I know that we were congratulated for the quality of our report, but it can be improved with the links, people and contact points. We will also improve the drafting of the potential or the actual output for the next report. Thanks a lot for the open, kind and very positive debate we had.
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