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Opinions & Interviews

5 Jun 2019

Belarus eager to develop network of centers to support technologies, innovations with WIPO aid

Belarus eager to develop network of centers to support technologies, innovations with WIPO aid

MINSK, 5 June (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s assistance with developing a network of centers to support technologies and innovations, with implementing a national project in the sphere of intellectual property for universities and research institutions, and with introducing new information platforms as part of the work of the National Intellectual Property Center. Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas made the relevant statement as he met with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry on 5 June, BelTA has learned.

The head of government noted that Belarus sets a high value on cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization and thinks highly of the organization’s ever growing role in the world, its rising influence. Sergei Rumas stated with satisfaction that the sides have recently managed to considerably expand interaction. He attributed the fact to the intellectual property strategy for the 2012-2020 period Belarus had adopted.

“Today’s visit gives us an opportunity to evaluate the accomplishments, exchange opinions about world trends, and set ambitious goals for the future,” Sergei Rumas said.

The head of government added that thanks to cooperation with WIPO Belarus has created a modern national system of legal protection of intellectual property assets. The system meets cutting-edge international requirements. Sergei Rumas said: “Every year we receive over 5,000 international applications for the registration of trademarks and inventions from foreign applicants.” The volume of foreign investments being poured into the country testifies the Belarusian market is attractive for foreign companies. It also testifies to the effective work of the intellectual property protection system, the prime minister stressed. According to Sergei Rumas, these accomplishments would have been impossible without tight cooperation with WIPO.

“We are interested in continuing cooperation for the sake of improving Belarusian legislation,” the prime minister stressed. He said that Belarus pays close attention to the development of the innovative infrastructure in the area of high technologies. The Hi-Tech Park has been developing successfully for more than ten years. Today it is one of the leading clusters in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2018 the park’s export totaled $1.4 billion. The figure increases by roughly 30% every year. The China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone is another major cluster. It is now home to 44 resident companies. The volume of declared investments exceeds $1 billion. The main purpose of the park is to attract and develop cutting-edge technologies.

“We understand that we have to live up to high requirements of not even today but tomorrow, this is why personnel training is the key task for us. We also count on tight interaction with WIPO,” Sergei Rumas stated. “We are interested in assistance of the World Intellectual Property Organization with developing a network of centers to support technologies and innovations, with implementing a national project in the sphere of intellectual property for higher education institutions and research institutions, and with introducing new information platforms as part of the work of the National Intellectual Property Center in order to improve the center’s effectiveness. We count on broader participation of our specialists in WIPO’s education programs since we have to train specialists, who can manage innovative products.”

Cooperation with WIPO is also important for Belarus from the point of view of finishing the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization, the head of government added. “We are in the final stage. Your recommendations on dealing with intellectual property issues in this system are important for us. We count on more vigorous exchange of experience and WIPO support,” he said. On the whole, Sergei Rumas said he hopes that after the current visit of the WIPO director Belarus’ cooperation with this organization will reach a higher level.

In turn, Francis Gurry thanked Belarus for constructive cooperation and the country’s contribution to WIPO’s work. “These are complicated times for any international organizations, this is why we doubly need support and constant participation of Belarus,” he said.

The sides signed a memorandum of understanding between the Belarusian government and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The WIPO director general is visiting Belarus on 3-5 June. While in the country, Francis Gurry is expected to meet with various officials and make a speech at the opening of the regional seminar on topical aspects of using rights to intellectual property assets.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an international organization that coordinates international cooperation in the sphere of intellectual property. The organization is headquartered in Geneva. As many as 192 countries are WIPO members. The main goals of the organization are to help protect rights to intellectual property, discharge administrative functions as part of international agreements in the sphere of intellectual property. WIPO provides considerable assistance to Belarus with developing the national intellectual property system. The main avenues of cooperation include the improvement of Belarusian legislation to bring it into compliance with international standards, the development of the national infrastructure, the assimilation of new information technologies, and personnel training.

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