Dhaka, today, October 10, 2015. Today, 30 rights based organizations which includes right based civil societies, trade unions, farmers, leaded by EquityBD has demanded TRIPs (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) or Intellectual Property Rights waiver for Bangladesh as well as other LDCs (Least Developed Countries) until become a developed country. They also demanded extension of TRIPS waiver period on pharmaceutical industries of Bangladesh for next 10 years at least up to 2025. They made this demand in a press conference titled “Bangladesh and all LDCs deserve TRIPS waiver until become a developed country” held at national press club. Please note that EquityBD is the member of LDC Watch, OWINFS (Our World is Not for Sale) and TWN (Third World Network) the global civil society group who are mobilizing civil societies in this regard.
The group has also announced in the press conference, that they will send a letter and memorandum to the chair of WTO, US and Canada Trade representatives, WTO Secretary General and related other official delegation and representatives, following the upcoming TRIPS council meeting in Geneva, will be held on 15-16 Oct’2015.
Syed Aminul Hoque read out a paper in favor of the group regarding above demands and said that the TRIPs agreement will be end by 2016 especially on pharmaceutical products; but Bangladesh is not in a position at present to compete with global players in pharmaceutical market after 2016 despite a progress made. They argued that, Bangladesh is yet an import oriented country of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) for our pharmaceutical industries. This scenario does not representing the self-sufficient capacity in view of technology & knowledge-based to fit the industries as global standard. So withdrawal of such waiver and patent to be granted in pharmaceuticals that would be a cause of higher price, narrow market demand both in country and exporting field and will denied the access of our poor people in the necessary health services. That’s why Bangladesh and LDCs deserve TRIPS waiver for her Pharmaceutical industries at least next 10 years up to 2025.
Md. Badrul Alam from Farmers Federation and in favor the group has criticize and condemned the present representatives of USA and Canada for their negative role in the TRIPS meeting for not announcing its full support to the WTO-LDC group’s requests in relation to the pharmaceutical transition period and may instead be making unlawful demands that create obstacles to access in the global market especially for Bangladesh and even other LDCs. Following the situation, they urged to the developed countries representatives especially USA & Canada delegation to pay their positive role and support to facilitate the TRIPs waiver extension proposal in favor of Bangladesh as well as other LDCs.
Sharifuzzaman from Nagorik Shanghati said that, there has a scope of TRIPs waiver extension for LDCs because, On June 11, 2013, WTO has announced that LDCs will be getting an extension for TRIPS until 2021. The waiver came as “Extension of the transition period under Article 66.1 for LDC members”. This has given the LDC’s as leverage for more years to implement international intellectual property protection rules. So Bangladesh as LDC could get this opportunity indeed until it graduation as developed country according to the WTO commitment.