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EU, Japan IPR efforts welcome
By Cui Ning (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-20 09:25

A Chinese official yesterday reiterated that protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) is a priority in addressing the challenges brought by China's economic growth, saying that European Union (EU) and Japanese efforts to strengthen IPR protection in China are welcome.

At a seminar on industrial design protection jointly conducted by China, the EU and Japan in Beijing yesterday, Li Ling, director-general of Treaty and Law Department of Ministry of Commerce, said intellectual property rights protection is a right of all companies in China, including domestic business people and foreign investors.

China has made continual progress in its IPR administrative capacity and enforcement systems, thanks to a past decade of legislative efforts.

The challenges brought by increasing economic growth have posed a higher demand on the Chinese Government, said Li.

"We welcome the efforts of the EU and Japan to strengthen co-operation and partnership in all fields of IPR protection," Li said.

The seminar was held to bring together the governments from the three parties to discuss the issue of protecting industrial designs in China in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international standards.

European officials encouraged China to stay on course with initiatives to further strengthen IPR protections.

Globalization and trade liberalization are bringing WTO members and multinational companies closer together. Nowhere is this more apparent than in China - the world's largest recipient of foreign direct investment, said Paul Vandoren, director of trade at the European Commission.

While China has made progress in international trade co-operation, without effective nationwide anti-counterfeiting measures, it will be difficult to maintain the attractiveness of the Chinese market for foreign and domestic investors or encourage innovation and protect consumers from safety hazards.

"We welcome the opportunity to establish public and private partnerships involving European and Chinese governments and their industrial circles in order to beat the counterfeiters," he said.

Japanese officials stressed the need to strengthen dialogue and technical co-operation with China particularly in IPR protection field, in order to further strengthen relationships.

"We see trade co-operation between Japan and China as a long-term strategic partnership.

"Trade has been supported by technical exchanges, training, and dialogue in the area of IPR protection.

"The Japanese Government welcomes the initiative to work with our European counterparts and the Chinese Government to make efforts in improving the standard of IPR protection," said Makita Shimokawa, director of the Economic Integration Division from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the seminar, specialists said that as foreign investment continues to flow into the Chinese market, industrial designs, which create the unique "look" of a product and allow a brand to be easily recognized by consumers, must be better protected.

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