Almaty, Kazakhstan: CLDP Facilitates Inaugural Meeting of the Expert Level Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights

September 17, 2019 - September 19, 2019

On September 17-19, 2019, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, CLDP brought together government officials from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan with advisors from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), USPTO, and ITA for the first meeting of the Central Asia Expert Level Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights. The program began with presentations from each country’s delegation regarding recent developments in laws and regulations promoting intellectual property rights protection in their respective countries. The program thereafter focused on the “Special 301 Report,” highlighting the process by which USTR prepares the report, and underscoring weaknesses in intellectual property rights protections in Central Asia, according to input form U.S. and international businesses. The areas underscored at the meeting were lack of enforcement, gaps in copyright law, damages from counterfeit trade, and the risks posed by government use of unlicensed software. Outcomes from the meeting included recommendations CLDP will raise at the October 2019 meeting of the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council regarding (1) ways in which Central Asian governments can participate in the Special 301 Report process going forward; and (2) the need to focus, at the Group’s next meeting, on interagency and public-private cooperation in furthering intellectual property rights protections. 

Upcoming Programs

November 19, 2019 - November 20, 2019

On November 19-20, 2019, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, CLDP & ITA conducted a workshop on effective interagency coordination to facilitate comprehensive publication of trade-related and centrally-published information. Participants included technical representatives from the Honduran and Guatemalan Ministries of Economy, Customs, Health, and Agriculture, and Honduran private sector representatives. During the workshop the Honduran participants met with their U.S. counterparts from the Department of Commerce, Customs and Border Protection, Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration to learn best practices for coordinating across trade ministries and publishing trade-related information in a non-discriminatory, easy-to-access manner. With support from the Honduran-American Chamber of Commerce, the participants shared respective efforts to encourage trade through greater transparency and improve publication practices. This workshop was part of a multiphase effort to promote transparency, cooperation, and coordination within the Honduran government, and to improve interregional trade in Central America.

CLDP in Action

October 23, 2019 - October 24, 2019

On October 23-24 in Tunis, Tunisia, CLDP held a workshop to identify potential changes to Tunisian law that would encourage increased cross-border eCommerce transactions for both exports and imports. Over 40 representatives from several government ministries, the private sector, and the NGO community discussed potential amendments to Tunisia’s eCommerce law, customs procedures, central bank currency and payment rules, and other matters.  The participants offered sets of informal recommendations for further action.

ECommerce in Tunisia has not reached its full potential, although there are black market eCommerce websites. Legal changes could help Tunisian SMEs and individuals reach new markets, while also providing opportunities for US sellers.

Read More about Tunisia: CLDP Holds Cross-Border eCommerce Workshop