Actas - Consejo de los ADPIC - Ver detalles de la intervención/declaración

Ambassador Chak Mun See (Singapore)
Hong Kong, China
34. The representative of Hong Kong, China introduced the joint non-paper which it had co sponsored with Bangladesh, the European Communities and their member States and Norway. Hong Kong, China had gone through the process of notification and review of legislation earlier in 2000. It had benefited from generous technical assistance from international organizations and Members, including IP Australia, the UK Patent Office and the European Patent Office. As a recipient of technical assistance, Hong Kong, China had found it useful to explore and develop a voluntary and informal system for sharing experiences among Members with respect to the TRIPS notification and review requirements. This would supplement the wide range of assistance currently provided by the WTO and WIPO Secretariats and by some developed country Members. In essence, the proposal was to create a pool of experts provided by Members who could offer advice to those Members who had yet to go through the notification and review process. These experts could provide written advice or, on request, visit the economy requiring assistance. For developing and implementing substantive intellectual property law or enforcement measures, the experts could point to sources for further assistance, for example from the WTO, WIPO, the WCO or from individual Members under their technical assistance programmes. It was not envisaged that these experts would be involved in the drafting of intellectual property legislation, although Members would offer such assistance if they wished. It was hoped that least developed country Members could benefit from the proposed scheme, when they eventually would take on the notification obligations with effect from 1 January 2006. Developing country Members might also benefit from the scheme but, since the Council was working on the basis that the reviews of their legislation would be completed by the end of 2001, they might not be able to benefit from it fully. It was hoped that this scheme would be set up in a flexible and informal manner. It would supplement and not deter the bilateral technical assistance offered by some developed Members. It was a purely voluntary and demand driven scheme but the co sponsors certainly hoped that more developed country Members, and developing country Members who had completed the notification and review process, would participate in the scheme and offer expert assistance. Hong Kong, China was ready to offer some assistance in future years, although its capacity was relatively small compared with that of developed country Members. The time frame for assistance suggested in paragraph 7 of the non-paper only served as a guideline and should be implemented flexibly. Concerning least developed country Members, whilst the proposal aimed to commence providing assistance some two years before the date for notification of laws, some least developed country Members might wish to start the preparation earlier and others later. It was envisaged that the bulk of activities would take place between early 2004 and early 2006. Nevertheless, the list of experts or Members willing to offer assistance as suggested in paragraph 7 of the non-paper should be established as soon as possible to cater for the needs of developing country Members requiring assistance or least developed countries who would like to start their preparation early. The co-sponsors hoped that the Secretariat would kindly establish and maintain a list of Members willing to offer assistance and facilitate communications between Members requesting and offering assistance. Whilst the initiative was informal in nature, it was hoped that Members would be kept informed of such activities for the sake of transparency, for example, through annual updates on technical co operation activities submitted by Members. He invited other Members to support the proposal in principle, and begin the process of establishing a list of Members' experts who could provide assistance, leaving minor details to be refined later. The co-sponsors were ready to listen to comments from other Members and refine the proposals before submitting the paper as a formal WTO document, with all details finalized, hopefully before the end of December 2000.