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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   3 May 2012

US removes Malaysia from Lower Level IPR Piracy Watch List

May 3, 2012 -- Malaysia will be removed from a lower level watch list of countries committing violations of intellectual property rights (IPR) says US Trade Representative Ron Kirk

Indeed, Kirk extended his congratulations to Malaysia which was removed from a so-called "lower level" watch list that included a total of 27 countries this year.

"I am pleased to congratulate Malaysia on the progress that resulted in the country's removal from the Special 301 List," Kirk said in a statement.

Malaysia was dropped from the watch list "in recognition of steps it has taken to strengthen protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and for issuing regulations to protect pharmaceutical test data".

Since this announcement comes in the aftermath of Kirk's recent visit to Malaysia, observers here in Washington DC surmise that Kirk must have already conveyed this to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during their meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

"This year's Special 301 Report is more significant than ever in light of recent US government data showing that IP-intensive industries support as many as 40 million American jobs and up to 60 per cent of US exports," Kirk said.

USTR's stated priority is to support creation and growth in jobs in the United States resulting from innovation and creativity through its efforts to ensure that global consumers have access in overseas markets to US exports of IPR-intensive products.

That is the driver that is propelling the USTR to advance a robust IPR component in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations; to ensure that U.S. trade agreements are properly implemented and to use the Special 301 process, as well as bilateral engagement, to enhance IPR protection and enforcement abroad.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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