09 Sep 2019
SINGAPORE AND KAZAKHSTAN STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC TIES THROUGH INTANGIBLE ASSETS, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Singapore, 9 September 2019 – Innovative enterprises in Central Asia will soon benefit from a new intellectual property (IP) cooperation between Singapore and the Republic of Kazakhstan. Earlier today, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) of the Republic of Kazakhstan to bridge the innovation ecosystems of both countries.
The MOU establishes a framework for cooperation between IPOS, AFSA and MoJ to promote innovation and facilitate the development of a comprehensive IP ecosystem within the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). The scope of the cooperation includes the proposed establishment of an IP and innovation service centre in the AIFC where IPOS will lend its deep IP expertise and services as a partner and advisor to the AIFC in building its IP and innovation ecosystem. IPOS and AIFC will also explore the provision of IP management consultancy services and customised training programmes to support innovative enterprises to use the AIFC to commercialise their IP and intangible assets, and expand into global markets.
Singapore and Kazakhstan signed a bilateral investment treaty in November last year to protect the interests of investors from both countries and provide them with greater assurance to capitalise on investment opportunities. Today’s MOU will further strengthen the economic linkage and innovation flows between the two economies, allowing innovative enterprises from anywhere in the world to use Singapore and Kazakhstan as gateways to access high growth markets in ASEAN and the Central Asia region. Other than deepening the innovation cooperation between the two countries, the MOU also reaffirms Kazakhstan’s confidence in Singapore’ economy and innovation ecosystem.
Kazakhstan is Singapore’s largest trading partner in Central Asia, with bilateral trade in goods between the two countries amounting to S$133.6 million in 2017, three times the total trade a decade ago. Singapore and Kazakhstan are also part of an on-going negotiations on the Eurasian Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EAEU-Singapore FTA) that goes beyond traditional trade in goods, to include e-commerce as well as IP rights. The EAEU-Singapore FTA will bring together a combined market of more than 200 million people in the Central Asia region and a combined GDP of S$2.32 trillion. When the FTA concludes, Singapore and Kazakh businesses will enjoy better access to each other’s markets across many sectors and benefit from increased confidence in the protection of their IP rights.
Mr Daren Tang, Chief Executive of IPOS said, “Singapore and Kazakhstan have always shared a strong friendship and trade relations. As the economic ties between our countries and regions grow, we have found a collective interest in using intellectual property and innovation to drive high value economic growth. Our partnership with the Astana Financial Services Authority and the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan is testament to Singapore’s growing importance as a global hub to service innovation flows and support innovative enterprises to grow through the strategic use of their intangible assets and IP.”
Mr. Almat Madaliyev, the Vice-Minister of Justice of Kazakhstan, said, “As the government agency in charge of IP policy in Kazakhstan the Ministry of Justice comprehensively supports this initiative. Taking into consideration the high level of cooperation with AIFC and IPOS, and their remarkable standards of work, we are sure that this project will be a success story.”
Mr. Assylbek Davletov, the Chief FinTech Officer of the AFSA, said, “The cooperation arrangement is an important milestone in AIFC’s ambition to develop an advanced IP ecosystem and to be a leading player in the Eurasian region in the field of intellectual property protection which encourages regional companies to use AIFC as a base for launching their innovative products and services.”
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 The AIFC, launched in July 2018, aims to serve as a financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eurasian Economic Union, Middle East, Western China, Mongolia and Europe.