As the country is moving towards the knowledge-based economy, the experts called for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights.
Promotion and protection of innovations and the knowledge in the country will eventually contribute to the development of the country and reduction of poverty in the country in the long run, said trade, commerce and supplies, and finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala, at a seminar 'General Awareness Building on IPRs and its Role in Economic Development', organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in cooperation with the Department of Industry and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), in the Valley today.
Stressing on scientific and technological capacity building in the industrial sector that could be the base for the sustainable development of the country, he asked to encourage innovations, research and development in appropriate technologies, industrial information and communication, biotechnology, as stated in the Industrial Policy 2010 that could lead the country towards economic development, growth and a better quality of life through its proper utilisation.
He also informed that the government has established a Rs 20 million-Technology Development Fund to make use of appropriate technology in different industries.
Unlike in the past when people used to about the development of infrastructure, enhanced production, efficient manufacturing, the present world is much more focused on the knowledge-based economy, he said, adding that knowledge has been now recognised as the driver of productivity and economic growth.
Strengthening the regulatory regime in Nepal on the protection of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) was one of the four outstanding commitments of our accession to the WTO in 2004.
However Nepal has still to do a lot to bring the regulatory and enforcement aspects of Intellectual Property, Industrial Property and other related areas, up to their desirable levels.
He also reminded that the government is committed to promote, protect and regulate the Intellectual Property, which has been translated in the Industrial Policy 2010.
Industrial Policy 2010 has spelt protection and promotion of the industrial Intellectual Property Rights as one of its objectives. It has also envisioned an IP office to promote, regulate and administer all the aspects of Intellectual Property, apart from National IP Policy that will look into the IP issues and help establish an IP regime more effectively.
The new Industrial Enterprises Act will also help promote the IPR, the minister said, adding that the IPR protection will help attract more investments to the country.
If the country protects IPR, the foreign investment will flow in, said CNI president Narendra Kumar Basnyat. "However, level of protection is far behind in Nepal compared to our neighbours," he added.
The IPR is an essential tool to promote, protect and reward the creators of the intellectual property and make sure the use of the property for public benefit and welfare, trade secretary Krishna Gyawali said, on the occasion."Although the country has some 48 years old Patent Design Trademark law, the Department of Industry is doing its homework to bring a new IPR law," he added.