A welcome by H.E Ong Keng Yong, Secretary General Of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
I am pleased to welcome the launching of the website on EC-ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation Programme (ECAP II).
We all are well aware that the globalization and rapid technological advances have changed significantly the pace and patterns of human interaction across the world in the past two decades. Implicit in these changing trends in human interaction is the enormous importance and potential of intellectual property (IP) and intellectual property rights (IPRs). As a matter of fact, IP matters and IPR issues will continue to exert a profound and multi-dimensional influence on virtually all sectors and industries, not least in external trade and investment at the national, regional and global levels.
ASEAN Member Countries fully appreciate the crucial role of IP in social and economic development, and in development policy within the region. They have worked closely together to improve their IP policy framework, especially in enhancing the quality and diversity of their human resources, and of their infrastructure and facilities to underpin the effective and efficient protection of IPRs. They are also promoting a common regional IPR roadmap and identity, and greater IP and IPR awareness among stakeholders and the public across the region.
In the process, ASEAN Member Countries have greatly benefited from a wide range of cooperation programmes extended to them by their dialogue partners and organizations. The EC, in particular, has been a major source of technical assistance to ASEAN, assistance which has proven to be highly useful and timely at the regional as well as bilateral level.
Most ASEAN Member Countries have participated actively in the ECAP II regional component. EC technical assistance has focused on several crucial areas of regional concern and needs, including the IP legal framework, the administration and enforcement of IPRs, IP capacity building through teaching and training, and IP information dissemination for greater public awareness.
On behalf of ASEAN, I would like to thank the EC for its generous and active support in the field of IP and IPRs. Our cooperation is mutually rewarding.