IPR Protection & Practices: Driving Economic Growth in Bangladesh

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The American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) held a seminar today

on “IPR Protection & Practices: Driving Economic Growth in Bangladesh” at the Sheraton Hotel, Dhaka.

Ms. Zakia Sultana, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Industries, attended the event as the Guest of Honor while AmCham President – Mr. Syed Ershad Ahmed chaired the panel discussion. Mr. Joseph Giblin, Economic Unit Chief, US Embassy Dhaka moderated the seminar and Mr. Barrister Hamidul Mishbah, IP Lawyer & Founder, Bangladesh IP Forum joined as the Panelist and spoke on the topic. The other panelists present at the seminar were: Mr. Hossain Ahmed, Member – Customs, Audit, Modernization and International Trade, NBR, Mr. Md. Munim Hassan, Director General, Department of Patent, Industrial Design and Trademarks (DPDT), Ms. Shilpi Jha, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Senior Legal IP Counsel for South Asia.

Shilpi Jha, senior IP legal counsel for South Asia at the US Patent and Trademark Office, said Bangladesh needs faster implementation of IP protection measures and to raise peoples’ awareness to this end.

While moderating the seminar, Joseph Giblin, chief of the economic unit of the US Embassy in Dhaka, highlighted the bad impacts of selling and buying counterfeit products in violation of IP rules. He said not only the economy, but also human lives are affected in many cases because of the use of counterfeit products that were not properly tested in compliance with industry rules. Hamidul Mishbah, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, spoke about the economic losses that stem from violating rules for protecting IP. For instance, 27.7 percent of jobs in the US come from IP-intensive industries that contribute 38.2 percent of its GDP. Annual theft of IP rights amount to between $225 billion and $600 billion, he said.

Zakia Sultana, senior secretary to the industries ministry, said Bangladesh has already addressed the issue of counterfeit products in a newly enacted law in this regard. Protecting and enforcing IP rights is crucial for attracting foreign investors and influencing market entry decisions, according to AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed. “We strongly support a strengthened IP rights regime as a cornerstone for Bangladesh’s economic growth and foreign investment,” he said. Such a framework fosters knowledge sharing, technology transfer, and the development of higher value-added products and services. As such, it would position Bangladesh as an attractive destination for global business, promoting sustainable economic integration and growth, Ahmed added.

Members of the Chamber including the Executive Committee Members, and former Presidents, foreign dignitaries, business leaders, Govt. high officials from different ministries, media representatives and other distinguished guests attended the seminar. AmCham Vice President – Mr. Syed Mohammad Kamal offered the vote of thanks.

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