Experts urge stricter law on IPR to ensure more FDI inflows to Nepal «

Experts urge stricter law on IPR to ensure more FDI inflows to Nepal

Experts urge the government that stricter law on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) will ensure more FDI inflows to Nepal. They also suggested the government to have wider consultation with stakeholders before amending the five-decade old IPR Act.
Responding to the private sector doyens and IPR experts, Chief Guest Minister of Industry Dilendra Prasad Badu assured the participants that the drafted bill which is currently submitted to Ministry of Law, will be shared and consulted with private sector stake holders as well and take necessary decision for the promotion of Investments and also to bring more FDIs into Nepal.
Addressing the an ;Interactive Seminar on Intellectual Property Rights, A key constraint for FDI Inflows to Nepal’, organized by the Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NICCI), in association with Karobar National Economic Daily (Tbi Publications) on Wednesday, he also reiterated the government’s commitment for the protection of IPR to promote the brands and investors and also to motivate the creative individuals and intellectuals for their intellectual property.
Welcoming the guests at the program, Officiating President of NICCI Mr. Sunil KC highlighted the importance of IPR in present context as we have not been able to secure inflows of FDIs as well as promoting our Nepalese brand in our own domestic market as well in an International market which we need to focus when we are seeking FDIs at large. Mr. KC further added that IPR is a broad terminology, also includes Trade Marks, Patent, Copyright and many other technical aspects, but we are missing benefits due to poor legal provisions based on 55+ years old Act and Regulations and because of our existing IPR rules, which are not at par with WTO norms and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) standard –has hunted the potential FDI into Nepal, we should understand that the foreign investors who plans to extend their investments in Nepal also want their brands, trademarks patents are secured and Government should think from that angle also so as to bring more FDIs into Nepal and on the other hand, our own Nepalese Investors are also having problems even in the domestic marked due to poor IPR Policy and related acts and lack of appropriate law and due to that also obstructed the local brand, trade mark in expanding market of Nepalese products in domestic and international market as well.
Vice President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Mr. Krishna Prasad Adhikari, on the occasion, added that we have not been able to sorted out the issues related to IPR as the law could not be updated as per the present international practices while addressing the program that even though we have a IPR Law. Mr. Adhikari also mentioned that though the IPR and interrelated topics like Copy Right, Patent Design, Trade Mark have already been mentioned in constitution due to lack of public awareness and lack of related laws this important issue has been in shadow which needs to be considered as the first most important condition of the investors and if we could be able to develop IPR as Pre-condition for the of the investors then it would ease promotion of Technology Transfer, Investment in Infrastructure and SME sector and in present time though many foreign investors have shown interest to invest in Nepal but they have not been able to come and invest due to lack of IPR related strong law so he requested Government to bring strong and updated and IPR law at par international practices from fast track.
Likewise, Senior Vice President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI) Mr. Chandra Dhakal highlighted on the need of appropriate IPR law. Mr. Dhakal further added that due to lack of IPR Law Foreign investments are not coming as expected even though we have huge potentiality and opportunities for foreign investors to invest. He also urged the government to share the recently drafted IPR bill with Private Sector stakeholders and consult with them also. The draft should be investment friendly so that the foreign investments could flow into Nepal and it would only be successful once it is consulted and shared with concerned stakeholders and that will be more effective and fruitful and supportive for the economic development of the country.
Mr. Rajendra Mall, President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), on the occasion, emphasized on the need of export oriented policy to brought by the government to minimize trade deficit and for that government should work closely with the private sector representatives. When we are talking about the IPR it is not only the issue of bi-national or multinational companies, it is also the issue of our own Nepali companies also. Due to lack of proper effective law, many of our brands have been affected badly in their export so these also needs to be looked into and requested minister for that.
Advocate and IPR Expert Mr. Sajjan Bar Singh Thapa, presenting his paper, informed that the IPR Law in Nepal is 57 years old and it has not been updated or amended since last 16 years. “57 years old Law can not cover the issues and changes took place in IPR law so that needs to be amended in our law at par international norms and practices,” he said, adding that due to lack of seriousness of concerned judiciary and bureaucrats towards importance of IPR issues, this has always been a big problem to investors in country.
In the Seminar, presenting the paper from Bi-national Industry perspective, Mr. Ravi Kumar Rayavaram, MD of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd added that Now in this 21st century, where digitization has taken place in every sector the IPR issue has been one of the major for the investors to protect their intellectual property.
Mr. Rayavaram further added that today though the one third of world’s total economy is based on intellectual property, IPR related law is really very weak in Nepal. “It is surprising to see that the foreign prestigious and well established brands have been registered here by some other local company and earning and due to that also International brands and companies have not been able to come and invest in Nepal due to that weak IPR law in the country,” he added.
Mr. Amirn Pratap Rana, CMD of Kiran Shoes Manufacturer, the manufacturer of Goldstar Shoes, also shared his experience that how his company has been facing the problems due to lack of poor IPR law in country. Their brands have been used by other local as well as foreign companies and they have been filing the cases in both Nepal as well as in out side Nepal so as to protect their brand and IPR. Mr. Rana further said that Government should see such issues and bring proper effective and strong IPR law and need to have strong provision for the compensation to be made to victims also.
Giving the Vote of Thanks, Vice President of NICCI Mr. Harkirat Singh Bedi also added that since the IPR issue is the issue of all in present digital age and really very important one as it directs the investment flow in the country. Nepal being a most opportune destination for the foreign investment we all should think why the FDI is not coming as we had expected and requested Government also to think on this seriously on IPR.
During the panel discussion, Former Industry Secretary Mr. Krishna Gyawali also asked th government to take IPR issue seriously as it is key to industralization of any country including Nepal. Likewise, IPR Expert Mr. Rajkumar Suwal, Director at Department of Industry Mr. Suresh Raj Joshi, CA Mr. Kaushlendra Jha, Dr. Dev Bhakta Shakya, Ms. Sushama Sharma also highlighted the importance of stricter IPR law for investment in the country. They also share experience on IPR and related issues.
The Program was conducted by Ms. Sarah Sapsanamma Rai and moderated by Editor of Karobar National Economic Daily Mr Kuber Chalise.