The International Chamber of Commerce Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative has released its first a report on Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property in Vietnam.

The report was launched in Hanoi today with support from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC).

Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property in Vietnam reveals that several factors contribute to the wide-scale proliferation of counterfeit and pirated products in Vietnam. They include the disproportionate size of Vietnam’s informal economy; corruption; weak enforcement mechanisms and lack of awareness among consumers of the risks involved.

The report also highlights the value of a robust intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement system for Vietnam to reach its full economic potential. While the report recognises the recent efforts of the Vietnamese government to strengthen protection and enforcement of copyright and trademark laws; it also notes that much more needs to be done to protect consumers and businesses from counterfeit goods.

The report features a set of comprehensive policy and legislative recommendations, a key tool to assist Vietnam in establishing a robust IP protection and enforcement regime, capable of generating significant economic and social benefits. The recommendations include policies and actions, ranging from legal reforms to technical assistance and capacity-building measures, channels for international cooperation and tools for strengthening enforcement practices.

In his welcome address to participants of the launch event in Hanoi, Vu Anh Duong, Secretary General and Vice President of VIAC said:

“Vietnam is in the process of integration in the international forum and engaging in efforts to attract more FDI and enhance growth locally. This requires Vietnam to improve on its international commitment to strengthen IPR enforcement and protect businesses. The BASCAP Vietnam report will serve as a useful tool in this process.

Presenting the report, BASCAP Policy Advisor P. Suriya Prabha said:

“Vietnam is an important country for many ICC members and we are encouraged by recent efforts of the government. We are pleased to launch this seminal study that can add value to existing efforts with the potential to reform the IP enforcement environment in Vietnam and protect consumers and businesses from IP fraud. We welcome increased collaboration with the Vietnam government to work towards a common goal of stopping criminals from trading in counterfeit goods locally and across borders.”

Supporting messages in the report, Phan Thanh Thuy, Enforcement Appeal Division, National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam said:

“The BASCAP Vietnam report is an extensive and useful study to understand the trends and challenges in Vietnam. In recent years, Vietnam has made a lot of progress to reform the IP system and there is a lot more to do to strengthen government frameworks to respond to IP infringement and raise awareness among consumers on the impact of counterfeit goods.”

The launch event was attended by key Vietnam government agencies including the Vietnam National Office of Intellectual Property Rights (NOIP), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Information and Communications, and Department of Customs, the Ministry of Finance. Also present were key industry associations including the Vietnam Association for Anti-counterfeiting and Trademark Protection (VATAP) and the Vietnam Anti-Counterfeiting and Intellectual Property Protection Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VACIP).

Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property in Vietnam received input from the National Office of Intellectual Property in Vietnam and key industry players, brand owners including those with operations in Vietnam. With the local support of VCCI, BASCAP will work with Vietnamese stakeholders to implement the recommendations in the report that are in line with BASCAP’s commitment to make the fight against counterfeiting and piracy a public policy priority.