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National Statement by IPOS CE Mrs Rena Lee at the World Intellectual Property Organisation 61st Series of Meetings of the Assemblies

22 Sep 2020




Distinguished colleagues 

Ladies and gentlemen 

  1. Singapore would like to thank the Director-General and the Secretariat for their hard work over the past year and in preparing for this 61st Meeting of the Assemblies. In particular, we extend our deepest appreciation to Dr Francis Gurry for his 35 years of dedicated service and leadership in WIPO, including his 12 years as Director-General. Thank you, Dr Gurry, we wish you all the best.

  2. We also offer our support to the Chair and the Vice-Chairs, in making this Assemblies a constructive and successful meeting for all. 

  3. My fellow Members, over the past year, Singapore like many across the world, has had to grapple with wide-ranging disruptions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen health systems and business markets deeply affected, placing significant strain on national resources, and resulting in loss of lives and livelihoods. 

  4. The pandemic has amplified the importance of innovation as we search for a COVID-19 vaccine and related innovations. The crisis has challenged companies worldwide to go out of their comfort zones. We have seen businesses pivot their operating models and strategies to overcome challenging economic circumstances. In this new climate, we anticipate new ideas and innovations to emerge with greater urgency. 

  5. In light of this, our work in enabling sound IP protection, management and commercialisation has never been more important. Singapore is committed to provide our creators, entrepreneurs and enterprises with the support and confidence to emerge stronger from this crisis. We have stepped up our efforts through various programmes, such as IP acceleration, IP education and outreach, and IP strategy. Singapore looks forward to partnering with many of you to help creators and innovators leverage IP to overcome the challenges and grow their business with confidence amidst the COVID-19 environment. 

  6. This year’s Global Innovation Index has reported strong performance from Asian economies. Singapore values the long-lasting partnerships forged with our regional neighbours, and we are fully committed to working closely with our ASEAN and Asia Pacific Group colleagues to build a robust regional IP ecosystem that benefits all. We thank WIPO for their continued efforts in supporting the region’s growth through the programmes delivered by the WIPO Singapore Office.

  7. The full impact of the pandemic will become clearer in the months to come. WIPO, as the main multilateral platform for international IP issues, plays a critical role in leading the global IP community to meet the challenges of this prolonged health crisis and uncertainties of a global economic downturn. Singapore will continue to support WIPO’s work in building a fair, resilient and forward-looking IP ecosystem for the benefit of all Members.

  8. Even as we gather here in unprecedented circumstances, some in person, some remotely, we are united by the common vision of innovation and IP as the growth engine of our economies. The good work that this organisation has built up over the years must not stop. 

  9. In closing, Singapore expresses our strong and ongoing commitment to working with WIPO Members and the WIPO Secretariat to ensure that the international IP system continues to drive global growth and development for the benefit of innovators, creators, businesses and users worldwide.

  10. Thank you.