Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The European Union (EU) has announced a project to enhance intellectual and industrial property rights in all member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The project will include two platforms, IP Key Southeast Asia (IP Key SEA) and ARISE Plus, which are both part of EU policies in the field of intellectual and industrial property, said Luis Berenguer, spokesman for the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

IP Key SEA focuses on the business world, while ARISE Plus concentrates on aspects related to development and cooperation, Berenguer said.

The spokesman also stressed the importance of creating a friendly environment for the protection of intellectual and industrial property of European and also regional companies. 

The main objective is to foster knowledge in the field of industrial property, he said, adding that the EU will work together with ASEAN countries to create tools, technologies and technical support to protect and encourage business innovation and creativity.

Berenguer believes that intellectual and industrial property goes together with innovation and economic growth, this is the case in the EU, where sectors related to intellectual and industrial property rights account for 42 percent of GDP, 38 percent of employment and 90 percent of exports.

However, the EU loses 90 billion EUR and 800,000 jobs every year because of counterfeit products such as jewellery, handbags, watches, toys and pesticides.

The IP Key SEA initiative will have a budget of 7 million EUR over the next four years, and ARISE Plus will receive 5.5 million EUR over a five-year period.

The EU is the main foreign investor in ASEAN with an annual investment of 19 billion EUR. The bloc is also the ASEAN’s third biggest trade partner after China and the US, with a trade exchange of more than 246 billion EUR.

The ASEAN includes 10 members, namely Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA