National Statement by the Singapore Delegation, Mr Daren Tang, Chief Executive, IPOS, at the World Intellectual Property Organisation 58th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies

Distinguished colleagues
Ladies and gentlemen

1.          At the outset, Singapore joins the others in expressing our deep condolences to the people of Vietnam at the recent passing of the President of Vietnam, Tran Dai Quang.

2.          Mr. Chair, Singapore joins the others in assuring you of our full cooperation in these Assemblies under your leadership, and we also associate ourselves with the statements of the Asia-Pacific Group and ASEAN.

3.          Colleagues – innovation is driving our future economies, not just in the developed regions but also in emerging markets and especially in Asia. 4 out of 10 R&D dollars is now being spent in Asia, and 6 in 10 IP applications are now made in Asia. This year’s Global Innovation Index shows that Asian economies continue to be amongst the strongest performers, and Singapore is honoured to be within the top 5 for the very first time.

4.          My fellow Members – in our future world, IP will no longer just be an economic output but an input for products, services, companies and jobs. In this future world, IP will morph from a technical, specialised topic to a subject of relevance and interest to our citizens, our companies and our institutions. We must continue being the best IP registries and regulators that we can be, but we believe that we should also look towards transforming ourselves into innovation agencies, helping our creators, our entrepreneurs, our enterprises take their ideas to the market and have a positive impact on society.

5.          As a small country, Singapore deeply values our international relationships and our ability to be relevant to the many stakeholders in the IP and innovation communities around the world.

6.           Our region, ASEAN, is one of the fastest growing emerging markets, and together with my fellow ASEAN Director-Generals, we are overseeing the implementation of the ASEAN IP Rights Action Plan to support ASEAN’s trajectory to be the 4th largest economic region in the world by 2030.   

7.          We are also pleased to announce the designation of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center in Singapore as a mediation service provider under Singapore’s new Mediation Act. This is a meaningful step for IP dispute resolution in Singapore and the region, as it means that private settlement agreements mediated by the Center can now be enforced in the Singapore courts.

8.          I also wish to take this opportunity to thank all WIPO Members for your support during my term as Chair of the SCCR. With your cooperation, as well as the hard work of the SCCR Secretariat, we have accomplished good work, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to enhance the international copyright system.

9.          On this note, Singapore supports the recommendation made by the SCCR before these Assemblies regarding the Broadcasting Treaty, and we also welcome the approved action plans for limitations and exceptions for copyright.

10.       Singapore also strongly supports the proposals tabled by the Asia-Pacific Group to expand the Programme and Budget Committee, as contained in documents WO/GA/49/20 and WO/GA/49/20 Corrigendum dated 4 and 6 October 2017 respectively, and to allocate the unfilled seats in the Coordination Committee as contained in document A/58/9 dated 17 September 2018.

11.       In closing, it is our belief that IP Offices have a vital and even broader role to play in the future of our countries and in driving global economic growth. Singapore stands ready to partner with WIPO Members, the WIPO secretariat, and the many stakeholders in our innovation ecosystem, to make a meaningful difference to our people and the world.

12.       Thank you.