WIPO Director General Concludes Official Visit to Singapore

Geneva, March 14, 2006
Press Releases PR/2006/440

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, wrapped up on Tuesday, March 14, 2006, a two-day official visit to Singapore under the United Nations Distinguished Visitors Programme, a prestigious Singapore programme for outstanding individuals linked to the United Nations system. During his visit he met with Singapore leaders and opened Asia's first diplomatic conference in the field of intellectual property (IP). The visit resulted in a further strengthening of the partnership between WIPO and the Government of Singapore.

Dr. Idris met with the Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Co-ordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Law, Professor S. Jayakumar, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. George Yeo, Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, and Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr. Lee Boon Yang. Dr. Idris also visited the WIPO office in Singapore.

Dr. Idris and Singapore leaders discussed the growing importance of IP in international trade and economic relations, the partnership between WIPO and Singapore, the WIPO office in Singapore and the WIPO Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of a Revised Trademark Law Treaty, which Dr. Idris opened on March 13, 2006 in the presence of DPM Professor Jayakumar. Dr. Idris and Singapore leaders expressed strong hope for the successful conclusion of the Conference, which will lead to an international treaty in the field of trademarks.

Both Singapore leaders and Dr. Idris expressed appreciation for the importance and strength of the WIPO-Singapore partnership, underscored by a commitment to promote an IP culture in Asia and globally. Both sides noted the success of the joint initiatives under their Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), and the establishment of a WIPO office in Singapore, hosted by the Government through the provision of generous facilities. These initiatives have to date brought to Singapore more than 400 government and other IP experts from 23 countries for various IP-related activities from within the region and beyond.

The meetings acknowledged the need to continually reinforce their partnership. Both sides expressed commitment to expand the framework of their current MOU to increase the frequency, scope and level of representation of their joint IP training programmes for countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and, on a selective basis, in other developing regions. WIPO and Singapore also agreed to co-organize regular dialogues between high-level IP policy makers and IP constituents, amongst which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), on strategic, business, and enforcement aspects of IP. WIPO and Singapore agreed to jointly develop programmes in areas of emerging international interests. In addition to enhancing the MOU, Singapore also reaffirmed its commitment to work closely with WIPO and the Organization's office in Singapore to better serve its many constituents in the Asian and Pacific region.

Deputy Prime Minister Professor S. Jayakumar said, "Dr. Idris's visit reinforced the already strong partnership between Singapore and WIPO. We share Dr. Idris's commitment and vision to promote IP in Asia and globally for greater economic development. Towards this goal, Singapore is pleased to expand our partnership with WIPO on key IP areas where we can contribute our knowledge and expertise. We look forward to working even more closely with WIPO and the WIPO office in Singapore."

Dr. Idris expressed his gratitude to the Singapore Government for the hospitality extended to him and pledged the Organization's continued support in the further development of Singapore's IP infrastructure. He congratulated the Singapore Government on the concrete steps taken in its research and development efforts and in developing a robust IP regime supporting creative and business activities. Dr. Idris expressed WIPO's full support for Singapore's role as an IP hub, and affirmed that Singapore's commitment to IP was a model for the region and the developing world.

Dr. Idris said, "Singapore has successfully capitalized on the tools of the intellectual property system for development and wealth creation. It has strategically used the intellectual property system to expand opportunities for individuals and businesses to convert their creative resources into economic assets capable of generating wealth and contributing to a more secure future." He added, "WIPO appreciates Singapore's strong national commitment to the intellectual property system, and its active and constructive role in promoting the further development of the international IP framework."

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO:

  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 or (+41 22) 338 95 47;
  • E-mail: publicinf@wipo.int
  • Fax: (+41 22) 338 82 80.
  • or Ms Radha S-Khoo, Ministry of Law, Singapore at +65 6332 4594 or +65 9876 3458 or radha_s-khoo@mlaw.gov.sg