WTO Public Forum panel on digital trade and health

Digital services hold enormous potential for improving healthcare delivery around the world, according to a panel convened by Geneva Network and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation at this year’s WTO Public Forum. However, governance and trade issues need to be resolved to ensure the best management and cross-border flow of data.

Read a full account of the discussion here.

Panellists included:

  • Andrew Staines, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the WTO
  • Andrea Tartakowsky Pezoa, Senior Research and Policy Officer, Pathways for Prosperity Commission (ppt)
  • Maíra Flores, Head of Communications, Portal Telemedicina (Brazil) (ppt) (Maíra’s video is here)
  • Nigel Cory, Associate Director, Trade Policy, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, US (NGO) (download Nigel’s presentation here)
Intellectual property ASEAN

24th September 2019 – Manila launch of think tank coalition report

Intellectual property ASEAN

A reform agenda for ASEAN countries

The event will take place at the Holiday Inn Makati, in the Philippines, and will see the launch of a think tank coalition report: “The importance of Intellectual Property Rights for progress: a reform agenda for ASEAN countries”.

Keynote Speaker, Hon. Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry, followed by presentation of the report by Philip Stevens, Executive Director, Geneva Network.

View the programme here.

Making the case for strong intellectual property rights in Chile and Latin America

For countries like Chile looking to reduce dependence on the export of natural resources, innovation will be key. Knowledge-based industries from life sciences to film form the basis of economic growth in most OECD countries, their growth and investment encouraged by a strong framework of intellectual property rights.

Latin American countries such as Chile hold much promise due to their biodiversity, good science base and entrepreneurial citizens. Yet there is scepticism in policymaking circles in Chile and elsewhere in Latin America about the potential of innovation, and role of intellectual property rights, in particular in debates about public health. This most recently has manifested itself in attempts to by the legislature undermine intellectual property rights by making it easier to issue a compulsory license for medicines.

This was the backdrop to a one day dialogue of regional think tanks on innovation and development, convened by Geneva Network hosted in the offices of Centro de Estudios Publicos in Santiago, Chile.

Thinkers and experts from thirteen international, pro-market think tanks came together to give their perspectives on these important issues. Represented organisations included Libertad y Progreso (Argentina), MacDonald-Laurier Institute (Canada), Libertad y Desarrollo (Chile), Fundacion Eleutra (Honduras), Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (USA) and Instituto de Ciencia Politica (Colombia).

Among the conclusions of the day:

  • Latin America will need to prioritise innovation if it is to meet its social, demographic and economic challenges.
  • In an era of globalization in which knowledge-based industries form the bedrock of the most successful economies, intellectual property rights (IPRs) must be considered as fundamental market institutions, alongside physical property rights and the rule of law. By contrast, government attempts to co-opt IPRs through for example compulsory licenses create enormous uncertainty for domestic and international investors.
  • Strengthening domestic intellectual property rights is often viewed as a “cost” of trading with wealthier countries, to be resisted or watered-down. It is, in fact, necessary to meaningfully participate in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy.
  • As knowledge-based goods and services are an increasingly important component of global trade, policymakers should look to the trading system to create a level playing field and high standards of protection.

Clearly, enormous challenges remain if Latin American countries are to become more innovative and participate more meaningfully in global value chains and international innovation networks. But the opportunity is there: it is up to the current generation of policymakers to seize it.

Panel discussion at the World Trade Organization: IP as a Driver for Innovation

The U.S. Mission Geneva cosponsored today’s discussion on IP as a driver for Innovation at the WTO (World Trade Organization). A panel of four expert speakers looked at how IP incentivizes creativity in the arts, business and technology, unshackling human potential to address the world’s many challenges. The event featured four speakers: Carsten Fink, Chief Economist of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Dr. Keith Nurse, Senior Fellow at the University of the West Indies and founder of the CaribbeanTales incubator, Dr. Jonas Pollard, head of the Hemolytics project at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, and Jason Kang, CEO and Co-Founder of Kinnos. The session was moderated by Philip Stevens, Director of Geneva Network.

To see photos from the event click here.

Indian innovation competitiveness

Indian thought leaders’ policy dialogue on health, innovation and competitiveness

In the run up to the 2019 general election, the Indian government has prioritised healthcare delivery and promoting innovation and competitiveness in the country, including in the health and life sciences sector.

To feed into this discussion, Geneva Network organised a half day roundtable in Mumbai to assess the state of play, and also to brainstorm policy reforms that could accelerate progress. The roundtable included 15 thought leaders from Indian think tanks, universities and NGOs, in addition to participation from around 20 individuals from the private sector.

The first panel, moderated by Ali Mehdi of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), looked at the status of the newly launched Ayushman Bharat scheme, with a particular focus on how the private sector can partner with the government to ensure the success of the scheme.

The second panel, moderated by Aman Gupta of Strategic Partners Group, examined the reforms necessary to make India a leading life science investment destination and to promote innovation within the country. The discussion focused on intellectual property reforms, regulation and trade policy, with a particular reference to the lessons from China’s policy reforms.

The outputs of the discussion will be released as a white paper co-published by Invest India, Institute for Competitiveness India and Geneva Network, for distribution to Indian government stakeholders.