Director General Meets with Minister of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Yemen

Geneva, September 17, 2007

Talks between the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, and a delegation of senior Yemeni officials led by the Minister of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Yemen, Dr Yahia Al Mutawakil, on September 12, 2007, focused on the strategic importance of intellectual property in today’s knowledge economy and explored ways to further strengthen cooperation between Yemen and WIPO.
Dr. Idris applauded the achievements of the Government of Yemen and its commitment to the promotion and use of the intellectual property (IP) system. He emphasized the enormous potential of the IP system as a means of adding value in knowledge-based economies and reaffirmed the Organization’s continued support of the Yemeni authorities in promoting effective use and awareness of the IP system in the country. Dr. Idris underlined the great potential of strategic use of the IP system, in particular, within the cultural industries sector. He also stressed the need to raise IP awareness of the judiciary through IP training courses. He further underlined the importance of on-going international discussions on the link between IP and traditional knowledge given Yemen’s wealth of cultural heritage.
The meeting focused on the economic importance of IP in the Arab region, WIPO’s technical assistance to Yemen, and ways to reinforce human resource development in that country. Dr. Al Mutawakil said that the Yemeni Government recognized the importance of the IP system and its potential in enabling the diversification and development of his country’s economy.  He said that WIPO was a key partner in establishing an enabling IP environment and welcomed the Organization’s continuing support in this regard.  The minister urged WIPO to strengthen its training programs, in particular in favor of customs officials and within universities.
The Yemeni delegation, which also included Ambassador Abdulmalek Al-Aryani, Chargé d’Affaires at Yemen’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, also reviewed preparations for a forthcoming forum on traditional knowledge in Yemen in November 2007.
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