Strengthening IP protection is crucial in developing the country

Strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights in Burma, also known as Myanmar, has the potential to act as a catalyst for economic growth, spurring foreign direct investment and in the long run helping the country reap rewards in terms of greater domestic innovation and increased technology diffusion.

While Burma would do well to ensure the implementation of the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), this should not come at the expense of developing its own innovative capacity.

In drafting new legislation, the country’s policymakers must be careful to strike a balance between the interests of technology-intensive multinational companies, who wish to break into what has been dubbed the last frontier market of Asia, and striving to develop a viable and innovative technological base of its own.

Decades of political and economic isolation have left Burma with intellectual property rights legislation that is at best outdated and indeed, in some cases, nonexistent. Its laws in this area are cobbled together from a few vague statutes and regulations, many of which date back to the colonial era.

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