State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam on Sunday said the implications of intellectual property (IP) become increasingly significant as Bangladesh progresses towards its goal of LDC gradua-tion.
“By prioritizing the protection, utilization, and management of IP assets, Bangladesh can secure a pros-perous future built on knowledge, creativity, and the power of innovation,” he said, adding that protect-ing intellectual property rights is crucial for fostering innovation.
To realize the dream of Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Smart devel-oped country, the state minister said, they must equip their people with skills and knowledge.
He was speaking at a project launching ceremony on the “Use of Intellectual Property Tools by Women Entrepreneurs in Bangladesh for Generation of Product Value and Economic Growth” at a hotel in Dha-ka.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Deputy Director General Hasan Kleib and officials from different Ministries were present.
The state minister thanked WIPO for their invaluable support and collaboration with the government of Bangladesh in launching this project.
“I hope that the proposed project will be instrumental to harness IP tools, specifically trademarks and industrial designs, to improve the branding and packaging of the products of women entrepreneurs that will eventually help increase product value, enhance competitiveness, and facilitate access to national and international markets,” said Shahriar Alam.
Together, he said, they can create an environment where women entrepreneurs thrive, innovation flour-ishes, and economic empowerment becomes a reality for all.
The state minister said SMEs are the backbone of our economy and their contributions to investment, job creation, and economic growth are invaluable.
At present, the SMEs make up more than 90% of the industrial units in the country and contribute 45% to the value added in manufacturing.
Their contribution to the GDP has reached 25%, with a total of 7.9 million SMEs and around 24 million people engaged in this sector, accounting for 30% of the employed workforce.
Besides their direct impact, SMEs also play a vital role in the supply chain of various goods and ser-vices, said the state minister.
To sustain the challenges of the post-LDC era, he said, it is critical to provide targeted support for SMEs, with a particular emphasis on leveraging the power of IP to enhance value addition, diversifica-tion, and access to new markets.
“Women-owned businesses deserve special attention in this regard and the government is highly commit-ted in developing the sector,” said the state minister.