Director General Concludes Official Visit to Algeria
October 18, 2010
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry concluded on October 18, 2010 a two-day official visit to Algeria during which he met with Government Ministers to discuss the role of intellectual property (IP) in stimulating innovation and development and ways to strengthen cooperation between WIPO and Algeria.
An agreement laying out a framework for collaboration between WIPO and Algeria was signed with the Minister of Industry, SMEs and Promotion of Investment, Mr. Mohamed Benmeradi. Bilateral meetings were also held with the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Rachid ben Aissa, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mourad Medelci, Minister of Culture, Mrs. Khalida Toumi, Director General of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Mr. Abdel Hamid Guerfi, the President of the National Economic and Social Council (CNES), Mr. Mohamed Seghir Babès, and the Director General of Algeria’s IP Office (INAPI), Mr. Hakim Taousar.
Bilateral discussions focused on how Algeria can best exploit the IP system for economic and cultural development, as well as ways in which WIPO can support national efforts to strengthen the country’s IP capacity. This was also the central message of a statement by Mr. Gurry to the CNES, which is responsible for Algeria’s Development Plan 2010-2014.
During the visit, Mr. Gurry also opened the WIPO the Inter-regional Seminar on Industrial Property and its Impact on Economic Development underlining the way in which innovation drives economic growth and not only yields “products, profits and jobs, but also improvements in our quality of life and solutions to the many challenges that we face.” Mr. Gurry said “All countries have the capacity to become innovation leaders. However, the process requires commitment, strategy and a sound enabling environment.”
The Director General pointed out that Algeria was one of the first countries to engage WIPO’s assistance in the development of a comprehensive national IP and innovation strategy, noting that national strategies are a key plank of WIPO’s strategic approach to development. “It is critical that they locate and link IP policy across the full complex of government activity in everything from education, culture and science and technology to investment and trade,” Mr. Gurry observed. He further added that in addition to national IP and innovation strategies, the other key aspects of WIPO’s holistic approach to development are infrastructure, capacity building and treaty making.
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