EU launches project against counterfeiting in Southeast Asia

The European Union has put forward a project to strengthen intellectual and industrial property rights in all ASEAN countries. EURACTIV’s partner Euroefe reports.

The EU has decided to work together with all ASEAN countries on a project promoting the protection of intellectual and industrial property rights.

The project will include two platforms, IP Key Southeast Asia (IP Key SEA) and ARISE Plus, which are both part of EU policies in the “field of intellectual and industrial property”, said Luis Berenguer, the spokesperson for the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

IP Key SEA, which was also launched in South America and in China, “focuses on the business world,” according to Berenguer, while ARISE Plus focuses on “aspects related to development, cooperation etc.”.

The IP Key SEA initiative will have a budget of €7 million over the next four years, and ARISE Plus will receive €5.5 million over a five-year period.

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“The main objective is to foster knowledge in the field of industrial property,” stated the OUEPI spokesperson, who also stressed the importance of creating a friendly environment for the protection of intellectual and industrial property of European and also regional companies.

The EU will work together with ASEAN countries to create tools, technologies and technical support to protect and encourage business innovation and creativity.

Luis Berenguer believes that intellectual and industrial property goes together with innovation and economic growth, this is the case in the EU, where sectors related to intellectual and industrial property rights account for 42% of GDP, 38% of employment and 90% of exports.

However, the EU loses 90€ billion and 800,000 jobs every year because of counterfeiting of products such as jewellery, handbags, watches, toys and pesticides.

The EU is the main foreign investor in ASEAN with an annual investment of €19 billion, it is also the ASEAN’s third biggest trade partner after China and the US, with a trade exchange of more than €246 billion.

The ASEAN includes Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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