Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NICCI) has urged the government to bring IPR law with relevance to the present context and international practices. NICCI organized an Interactive Seminar on Intellectual Property Rights, A key constraint for FDI Inflows to Nepal in Kathmandu on August 17, 2022.
Officiating President of NICCI Sunil KC highlighted the importance of IPR in present context as we have not been able to secure inflows of FDIs as well as promoting our Nepalese brand in our own domestic market as well in an International market which we need to focus when we are seeking FDIs at large. KC pointed out that IPR is a broad terminology, also includes Trade Marks, Patent, Copyright and many other technical aspects, but we are missing benefits due to poor legal provisions based on 55+ years old Act and Regulations and because of our existing IPR rules, which are not at par with WTO norms and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) standard –has hunted the potential FDI into Nepal.
“We should understand that the foreign investors who plans to extend their investments in Nepal also want their brands, trademarks patents are secured and Government should think from that angle also so as to bring more FDIs into Nepal and on the other hand, our own Nepalese Investors are also facing problems even in the domestic marked due to poor IPR Policy and related acts and lack of appropriate law.” This has also obstructed the local brand, trade mark in expanding market of Nepalese products in domestic and international market as well, he added.
We have not been able to sort out the issues related to IPR as the law could not be updated as per the present international practices while addressing the program that even though we have a IPR Law, remarked Vice President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Krishna Prasad Adhikari. Although the IPR and interrelated topics like Copy Right, Patent Design, Trade Mark have already been mentioned in constitution owing to lack of public awareness and lack of related laws this issue has been overshadowed, which needs to be considered as the first most important condition for attracting foreign investors, he pointed out.
If we are be able to develop IPR as pre-condition for attracting investors then it would facilitate promotion of Technology Transfer, Investment in Infrastructure and SME sector, he noted. In the present circumstances, though many foreign investors have shown interest to invest in Nepal they have not been able to come and invest due to lack of IPR related strong law.
Senior Vice President of FNCCI Chandra Dhakal also underlined the need of appropriate IPR law adding that due to lack of IPR Law Foreign investments are not coming as expected even though we have huge potentiality and opportunities for foreign investors to invest. Dhakal also urged the government to share the recently drafted IPR bill with Private Sector stakeholders and consult with them also. The draft should be investment friendly so that the foreign investments could flow into Nepal and it would only be successful once it is consulted and shared with concerned stakeholders.
Rajendra Mall, President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce emphasized on the need for adopting export oriented policy to brought by the government to minimize trade deficit and for that government should work closely with the private sector representatives. “When we are talking about the IPR it is not only the issue of bi-national or multinational companies, it is also the issue of our own Nepalese companies also.”
On the occasion senior Advocate and IPR Expert Sajjan bar Singh Thapa informed that the IPR Law we have in country is 57 years old and it has not been updated or amended since last 16 years. 57 years old Law con not cover the issues and changes took place in IPR law so that needs to be amended in our law at par international norms and practices.
Chief Guest Minister for Industry and Commerce Dilendra Prasad Badu has reiterated the government’s commitment for the protection of IPR to promote the brands and investors and also to motivate the creative individuals and intellectuals for their intellectual property. Minister Badu further assured the participants that the draft bill which is currently submitted to Ministry of Law, will be shared and consulted with Private Sector stake holders as well and take necessary decision for the promotion of Investments and also to bring more FDIs into Nepal.
Delivering vote of thanks, Vice President of NICCI Harkirat Singh Bedi also pointed out that since the IPR issue is the issue of all in present digital age and really very important one as it directs the investment flow in the country. “Nepal being a most opportune destination for the foreign investment we all should think why the FDI is not coming as we had expected and requested Government also to think on this seriously on IPR. “
The Program was conducted by Ms. Sarah Sapsanamma Rai and Moderated by Kuber Chalise.