Enterprises in ASEAN will soon benefit from a new intellectual property (IP) cooperation signed between Singapore and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos). This will allow innovative enterprises swifter access to a combined market of some 12.5 million people across both countries.
A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed today by Dr Khanlasy Keobounphanh, Director General of the Department of IP (DIP), Ministry of Science and Technology of Laos and Mr Daren Tang, Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) at the sidelines of the 2nd ASEAN-Korea Heads of IP Offices Meeting held at Seoul, Korea.
The cooperation bridges the innovation ecosystems of both countries to support the translation of ideas, IP and intangible assets (IA) into products and services in the ASEAN region. IPOS will lend its deep technical IP knowledge and services to support Laos in building its innovation ecosystem and contribute to economic integration in ASEAN through IP and IA. Ranked Asia’s most innovative economy in the Global Innovation Index 2019, Singapore is well positioned to support Laos and the region to grow with IP through its extensive international IP networks and agreements connecting markets that account for over 90% of global trade.
The cooperation covers two broad areas of collaboration:
- DIP will tap on IPOS’ patent search and examination expertise and services to grant quality patents in Laos.
- DIP will allow Singapore granted patents to be re-registered in Laos, accelerating enterprise access into both markets.
Dr Khanlasy Keobounphanh, Director General of DIP said: “This MoC reaffirms the mutual commitment between our countries to cooperate in supporting the innovation ecosystem. It will enhance coordination between Laos and Singapore and provide greater support to innovators growing and protecting their IP in both countries and the region.”
Mr Daren Tang (邓鸿森), Chief Executive of IPOS (新加坡知识产权局局长) said: “IPOS has always seen itself as a bridge between countries and economies, where we connect partners to build innovation ecosystems and broaden market access for innovative enterprises. Our partnership with DIP demonstrates our shared goal to leverage on the growing innovation and IP vibrancy in Asia to help catalyse economic development and support future economic growth. It also brings us a step closer to greater IP harmonisation between our ASEAN partners.”
IP today is a key enabler in transforming ASEAN into a highly innovative and economically competitive region. ASEAN has witnessed exceptional growth of IP filings, growing by almost 15% between 2013 to 2017. Total inventions by ASEAN applicants stood at more than 37,000 in the last decade, with an average annual increase of 12.5% between 2008 to 2013. ASEAN is projected to become the fourth largest economy by 2030 and the region’s growing innovation activities will propel this economy to be one that is innovation-led.
As a member of ASEAN, Laos ranks among one of the fastest growing economies in the world and in Asia and is a key emerging ASEAN market of 7 million people. Laos’ growth over the last five years has averaged 7.9% per year and the Laos government is set to achieve a GDP growth of at least 7.5% per annum in its five-year social-economic development plan.