Intellectual Property Right (IPR) system plays a significant role in promoting technology transfer, investment and trade flows; this was stated by Mr. Irfan Sarwana, Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in the inauguration ceremony of Intellectual Property Association of Pakistan held at Art Council, Karachi. He indicated that IPR is borne out by the experience of developed countries, and dynamic economies of the Asia; which are highly focusing on modernization of their IPR system in order to encourage foreign investment and exports of value added goods. He also briefly highlighted the importance intellectual property right in Islam.
Mr. Sarwana congratulated and appreciated Mr. Farhan Hanif, Chairman of the IPAP and his team for the formation of IPR association in Pakistan in order to provide a platform for the advocacy and representation of Intellectual Property Owners and to safeguard their interests and IP rights in the country. While quoting the statistics, he stated that as per the Global competitiveness report of World Economic Forum; in 2016 Pakistan stood at 109th rank in 138 countries on the Intellectual property rights, as compared to 106 in 2013. He also emphasized on the University-Industry collaboration and said that the businesses in Pakistan are not benefiting from the Research and Development done in academic and research institutions across the country, resulting in lack of indigenous solutions for the local and international challenges. He also stressed on the government to increase research spending in Pakistan in order to increase innovations, inventions and technological advancement; and protect these with intellectual property rights of the citizens to foster creative thinking, stimulate creativity, attracting investment and promoting exports.
Mr. Sarwana also highlighted the pending of Geographical Indication Protection law; since 2001 and stated that this law is need of the hour with copyrights, trademark, patents and other laws of IPR. The absence of this law has created millions of rupees loss to Pakistan’s economy in term of not fetching good prices of Pakistani products from international market. Pakistan has blessed with diverse geography, climate, soil, culture and traditions and many of our products related to agriculture and manufacturing sector are qualifying for protection as geographical indications, he added. Pakistan is facing tough competition from India due to common history and civilization and in past Pakistan has lost the market of basmati rice due to geographical indication while India has gained maximum market access including due share of Pakistan, he stated.
The ceremony was graced by Mr. Shahid Rashid, Chairman IPO Government of Pakistan and delegates from Karachi Chamber, ABAD, Film and drama production and related industries largely.