A review of member countries’ trade policies is one of the most important tasks of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to ensure transparency in the implementation of WTO commitments and obligations. As a rule, Vietnam must review conduct the trade policy septennially.
The 2nd trade policy review session of Vietnam for the 2013-2019 period was virtually taken place on April 27 and 29, 2021 in Hanoi, Vietnam. In this review session, intellectual property is one of the issues concerned by many WTO member countries.
In the field of intellectual property, prior to such session, Vietnam received a total of 53 written questions related to the establishment and protection of industrial property rights from 17 WTO members, of which the United States, Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom are the members with the most number of questions. These questions focus on changes in Vietnam’s policies, laws and practices, especially the protection of intellectual property rights in the 2013-2019 period. Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IP VIETNAM) presided and coordinated with relevant units in the Ministry of Science and Technology to answer all these questions.
(Image source: http://www.noip.gov.vn)
At the review session, intellectual property continued to be one of the issues receiving much attention from delegates. In the opening remark, Ms. Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme welcomed Vietnam’s development in general and simultaneously listed a number of the members’ priority issues including intellectual property, in particular Vietnam’s efforts to perfect the legal system and improve the effectiveness of the protection of intellectual property rights. Additionally, among the nearly 50 speeches, comments and questions raised by the WTO members about Vietnam’s trade policy, there have been many speeches mentioning intellectual property with the main content expressing a welcome about the positive changes in the legal policy on intellectual property of Vietnam, especially the promulgation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy until 2030 and the ratification of the Protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement. Nevertheless, some members are also concerned about the protection of rights, especially infringement of copyright and related rights in the digital environment in Vietnam.
In response by Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh noted and provided more information for WTO members to see the seriousness of Vietnam in compliance with the WTO commitments and other multilateral and bilateral commitments, as well as efforts that Vietnam is doing and will make to improve the protection of intellectual property rights in the upcoming time.
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