WIPO Director General Pledges Continued Support to Bulgaria

Geneva, March 29, 2007

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, met on March 28, 2007 with senior Bulgarian officials to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations, in particular in the field of copyright. In a meeting with H. E. Mr. Petko Draganov, Ambassador of Bulgaria to the United Nations in Geneva, and Mrs. Ina Kileva, Bulgaria’s Vice Minister of Culture, Dr. Idris reviewed existing cooperation and pledged the Organization’s support to Bulgaria's approach in exploiting the intellectual property system for development and wealth creation.

Dr. Idris welcomed the expanding cooperation between WIPO and Bulgaria, which has in recent years included capacity building programs, human resource development, technical and legal assistance, public outreach, and activities to promote the strategic use of intellectual property for development. During the meeting it was agreed that WIPO would work with relevant Bulgarian authorities to further expand this cooperation. Particular attention will be given in forthcoming joint activities to raising awareness among the younger generation about the importance of intellectual property. Particular attention will also be given to copyright-related activities.

Dr. Idris emphasized the importance of a WIPO study to measure the contribution of the copyright industries to Bulgaria’s economy, noting that the preliminary results confirm the positive contribution of the creative industries, which are heavily reliant on copyright, for economic development. The study, which was initiated in July 2006, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and other partners in the country, is expected to be finalized in the coming months. Both Ambassador Draganov and Mrs. Kileva, expressed appreciation for the support provided by WIPO for the implementation of this study as well as for the initiative "Rousse – City of Rights" in May last year which was the first stage of the National Public Awareness Campaign on IP rights protection in Bulgaria. They also discussed future cooperation activities within the field of copyright and related rights. It was agreed that particular attention would be given to promoting activities of societies involved in collective copyright management in Bulgaria.

During the meeting, Dr. Idris welcomed efforts by the Government of Bulgaria to prioritize the development of the intellectual property infrastructure in the country and the positive results they had achieved in the field of intellectual property legislation. He lauded the importance given by the Government to the promotion and protection of traditional knowledge and folklore and its efforts to harness its rich cultural heritage for the benefit of its people.

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