|Remarks by H.E. REN Yisheng, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, at the World IP Day Observance Event|
26 April, 2021
Hon. Mawine G. Diggs, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Liberia,
Atty. P. Adelyn Cooper, Deirector General, Liberia Intellectual Property Office,
Representatives of the Liberia Legislature and Cabinet,
Colleagues from the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to thank the Liberia Intellectual Property Office for inviting me to attend today's event.
Intellectual Property (IP) contributes enormously to national and global economies. Many industries rely on the adequate enforcement of their patents, trademarks, and copyrights, while consumers use IP to ensure they are purchasing safe, guaranteed products. Thus, it is of great significance to observe the World IP Day, raising the society's awareness of respecting and protecting IP rights (IPR). Recently, relevant Chinese administrations have also organized various activities to observe the World IP Day. The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) convened the High-level Forum on China IP Protection 2021 on April 23 in Beijing, launched the China IP Publicity Week 2021 scheduled on April 20-26, and released the White Paper of China's Intellectual Property Protection in 2020 yesterday.
For various historical reasons, China's intellectual property rights protection system was not established until late 1970s. Since then, the Chinese government has attached great importance to the IP protection, and China has made great progress in this field, covering IP system establishment, filing and registry, culture building and international cooperation, so on and so forth. In recent years, China has changed from a big IPR importer to a big IPR producer, and from pursuing IPR quantity to improving quality.
According to the latest White Paper issued yesterday, China's efforts and achievements in protecting IPR have been well recognized at home and abroad. The social satisfaction with IP protection in China reaches a record high of 80.05 out of 100 points. And concerning the Global Innovation Index by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China moved up to the 14th place in 2020, ranking first among the world's mid-income economies. In 2020, China handled 31,300 trademark violation cases and over 42,000 administrative adjudication cases related to patent infringement disputes, filed 69,000 international patent applications through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the highest number in the world and granted 530,000 invention patents. The number of invention patents per 10,000 population reached 15.8 in 2020.
As President Xi Jinping stressed, innovation is the primary driving force for development, and protecting IPR is equal to protect all innovative work and build the country into an innovation power. IPR protection is key to China's governance system and capacity, high-quality development, people's happiness, the country's opening up and national security.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We believe that IP protection is of the same importance to Liberia as it is to China. Strengthening IP protection can help inject strong impetus into high-quality economic and social development for Liberia as well. China and Liberia are good brothers and close partners, working together in various sectors. In the future, the Chinese side would like to explore more potential collaborations with the Liberian side in the area of IP protection, and jointly building China-Africa community with a shared future .
The theme for the World IP Day this year is IP and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) -- Taking Ideas to Market. And we have several panelists from the Liberian business community for further interactive dialogue. I look forward to hearing more insights from you all in terms of how IP has impacted SMEs growth in Liberia and what more can IP provide in protecting and sustaining the aforesaid growth.