Answering press on the sideline of a workshop on intellectual property rights (IPRs) enforcement in a digital world in Hanoi on March 12, 2018, Executive Director of American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) Adam Sitkoff said that promoting the IPR enforcement would improve the ladder of economic development, especially creating jobs as well as environment for young people to develop in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s current population is more than 93 million people, the large part of whom are young people. Many of them are well-educated and want to have better jobs and work in an environment which cares about innovation and development.
At the workshop, representatives of the US business community pointed out that protecting IPRs encourages entrepreneurialism, supports private sector development, and promotes the growth of high-tech ecosystems and high-paying jobs for educated workers.
Adam Sitkoff said that stealing ideas, brands, secret and content of the products and even website address would scare a lot of people in doing business in Vietnam.
Without the protection of ideas, businesses and individuals will not reap the full benefits of their inventions and will focus less on research and development. Similarly, artists will not be fully compensated for their creations and cultural vitality will suffer as a result.
AmCham Executive Director recognized that building brands in Vietnam is not easy; therefore, violating Intellectual property rights is a serious problem.
However, he said that promoting IPRs enforcement is not only to support artists and companies but also to solve a global problem. Without any improvement in this field, customers would be the ones who get hurt.
It is more important to promote IPRs enforcement when Vietnam is entering the e-commerce. This would help create a better environment which encourages innovation and development; thus offer young people more opportunities.
In order to ensure the enforcement of IPRs and create favorable conditions for enterprises to do business in Vietnam, AmCham leader proposed two main solutions that need to be taken into consideration.
Firstly, the Government’s enforcement mechanism needs widespread improvement in order to effectively stop, punish and deter IPRs infringement in Vietnam. The AmCham Executive Director stressed that effective enforcement means punishing infringers of IPRs in a manner that will deter them and others from engaging in such conduct in the future.
Besides, Vietnam needs to enhance the capacity of the people working in this area such as judges in the courts, police and inspectors so that they could know what they are looking for and how to prosecute the case.
“Fundamental concerns remain about uneven enforcement, administrative fines that are not significant enough to serve as a real deterrent, and inadequate capacity and competency of inspectors and local officials,” said Adam Sitkoff.
In the context of integration, Vietnam is engaging in more free trade agreements including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that was signed on March 8, 2018, in Chile by 11 nation members. Besides the huge benefits that countries can reap, the challenges that they must face are also a lot, especially on the issue of protecting IPRs.
Despite suspension on 20 articles of the original TPP agreement, including 10 articles related to intellectual property as the US withdrew from the TPP, AmCham representative reveal that the US seems to have signed letters and other things, related to IPRs for example, to see what countries are willing to do.
There has been no detail revealed yet but AmCham Executive Director hopes that whether the US eventually joins or not, Vietnam and the other countries would hold to the higher standards possible because it is good for the countries and for the people.