Global IP Challenges Forum organized by the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP)

WIPO Director General Daren Tang’s opening remarks

Geneva, October 26, 2020


Excellency Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi,

Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,

Distinguished Speakers, Participants and Guests,


Salaam Aleikum,

I would like to start by expressing my deep appreciation for His Excellency Minister Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi and to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for organizing this important Forum. This initiative, organized in the context of the Saudi Presidency of the G20 is timely, especially during these exceptional circumstances.

Like the previous speakers, I join in wishing good health to everyone and expressing my deepest condolences for all those that have suffered under the pandemic.

I would also like to take this occasion to thank Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Sweilem, Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP), whom I had the honor of working closely together with when I was previously a member of the Board of Advisors of SAIP.

In 2017, the Saudi Government established SAIP, putting in place a new phase for the development of the Kingdom’s IP ecosystem. And SAIP’s strategy has been open minded, drawing on the experiences of different IP offices and innovation agencies from all over the world in order to put together its strategy.

Its strong connection to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which is aimed at diversifying the Saudi economy, as well as its one-stop shop approach to IP policy-making can serve as a model for others. It is clear that SAIP and the Kingdom are serious about fostering an environment conducive to stimulating entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. WIPO stands ready to support these endeavors as well as endeavors of all the IP offices represented at this meeting.

Importance of G-20 countries

The G-20 is a key driver of the global economy, a major engine of innovation-driven growth, and the dominant exporter of creative goods. On intellectual property filings, the G-20 share exceeds 90% of patent, trademarks and designs filings worldwide.

The work of your Offices are therefore not only important to your countries, but critical to the health of the global economy, and your responses to the global pandemic will set the tone for the rest of the world.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Addressing the challenges of Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted economies the world over, affected millions of lives, and disrupted livelihoods. What started as a health crisis has become potentially an economic and social crisis as well. Our response must match the magnitude of the crisis. And this can only happen with collective action. WIPO stands ready work even more closely with all stakeholders: industry, fellow UN agencies, international organizations and NGOs to find multifaceted solutions to help us overcome this pandemic.

We will also continue to leverage on our role as a convenor and platform to bring IP offices together to address the common challenges that we face, whether at the operational level, or at the broad strategic level, to look ahead and imagine the future of the IP ecosystem together.  

Looking ahead

However, in the midst of all these activities, it is important for WIPO’s work to be guided by a shared vision among all stakeholders that more than ever, we need to support our innovators, our creators and our entrepreneurs. We need to help those with new and fresh ideas about how to change the world for the better to bring about this change. We need to work together to build a balanced, inclusive and dynamic IP ecosystem, that can address the most pressing global challenges and help us achieve the SDGs.  

WIPO already works closely with all the IP offices of the G-20 members and others represented here, and our relationship with you is unique, because of the special qualities and circumstances and the context for each of you. We know you well, but we hope to get to know you even better, so that we can find new ways to support your work. While we will have to continue being strong in our core areas of IP registration and protection, it is clear to me that many of you are also keen to explore or have already started looking into issues relating to IP commercialization, financing and valuation, as well as many other areas which are all aimed at connecting your work more closely with markets, and bringing alive the use of IP as a creator of jobs, a driver of enterprise growth, and a developer of your economies and of your societies. WIPO welcomes this, and we will work with you closely in this endeavor to bring IP closer to our people, our markets and our communities. 

In conclusion, let me congratulate this meeting for bringing together the key drivers of the global innovation ecosystem, and let us once again reaffirm our partnership and support for one another as we work to help humanity recover from this pandemic, rebuild our lives and economies and look forward to the future.

Thank you very much.