Striking a Balance: Myanmar and the Issue of Intellectual Property Rights

Issue & Policy Briefs June 24, 2013, No. 127

Strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights in Myanmar has the potential to act as a catalyst for economic growth, spurring foreign direct investment and in the long run helping the country reap rewards in terms of greater domestic innovation and increased technology diffusion. While Myanmar would do well in this regard to ensure the implementation of the WTO TRIPS agreement, this should not come at the expense of developing its own innovative capacity. In drafting new legislation, the country’s policymakers must be careful to strike a balance between the interests of technology-intensive multinational companies, who wish to break into what has been dubbed the last frontier market of Asia, and striving to develop a viable and innovative technological base of its own.

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