Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Monday, 19 March 2001

Australia Hosts Meeting of Asia-Pacific Intellectual Property Group

A meeting of government intellectual property (IP) experts from Asia-Pacific countries will open tomorrow in Sydney to further cooperation on a range of regional intellectual property issues.

Ensuring effective intellectual property protection is a crucial component of Australian export and investment flows to the region. 

The gathering also provides a forum for dialogue on a number of emerging issues which involve intellectual property, some of which, like biotechnology and e-commerce, have strong future export potential for Australia.

The group, the Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group (IPEG) of APEC, makes a major contribution to the work of APEC, an organisation which has as its central objective the liberalisation of trade in the Asia-Pacific region.

The meeting of the IPEG, which is chaired by Japan, will work on strengthening cooperation between regional governments on a range of intellectual property issues, such as harmonisation of application and registration procedures, enforcement of intellectual property rights, raising public awareness and new policy issues, such as the intellectual property aspects of biotechnology and e-commerce.

The meeting involves officials from the IP offices and trade ministries of Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Vietnam and Australia.

Co-hosted by the Federal and New South Wales Governments, the meeting, which will run from 20-21 March, will be followed by a one-day government-industry workshop which will bring together business people and officials from Asia-Pacific countries to develop stronger regional cooperation on the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

For further information: Andrew Witheford - 02 9338 6900 or 0410 527 486

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