Strong Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws will help attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and create employment at home stopping brain drain, opined the experts.
"Strong IPR law is one of the three key issues that the American companies wishing to invest in any country look for," first secretary at the US embassy, who looks after Intellectual Property for the sub-continent, Kalpana Reddy, said at an interaction on 'Intellectual Property Rights: Current Scenario and Prospects in Nepal,' organised by the US Embassy and Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation here today.
The American companies look for open FDI policy, easy entry like simplified licensing policy and tax structure, and cheaper and quicker dispute settlement mechanism while investing in any country, she clarified, adding that Nepal can take benefit by attracting them as the issues of IPR has started cropping up in China and India, where they have strong presence at present.
FDI does not only mean flow of cash, it also means technology transfer, Reddy added.
Agreeing with her, director of Microsoft Innovation Centre Nepal Allen Bailochan Tuladhar said that Intellectual Property Rights also creates wealth in the country and stop brain drain. "The country can have next Bill Gates, if the potential of some 58,000 IT graduates — produced in last one decade — could be exploited by ensuring them that government would protect their innovations," he said, adding that some 9,000 IT graduates enter the job market every year with dreams. "We have so many success stories of our young graduates and with strong IPR laws and conducive environment, the brain drain could be stopped benefitting the country."
However, it’s not that the country does not have any IPR laws to protect patent, design, and trade marks. "But the government needs to revise and update current IPR laws," advocate Sajjan Bar Singh Thapa, said, adding that the government has to revise it also due to its commitment to global trade regime. "By 2013, the government must have updated Copy Right Act according to its commitment World Trade Organisation (WTO).
"Earlier deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy Patricia Mahoney and immediate past president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Kush Kumar Joshi also shed light on importance of IPR and its benefit to the country.