State Minister for foreign affairs Md Shahrair Alam on Sunday said the implication of the intellectual property (IP) bears immense importance as Bangladesh strives for LDC graduation in 2026.
“To sustain the challenges of post-LDC era, it is critical to provide targeted support for SMEs, with a particular emphasis on leveraging the power of IP to enhance value addition, diversification, and access to new markets,” he said.
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 Dhaka.
The state minister said that protecting intellectual property rights is crucial for fostering innovation.
He said women-owned businesses, deserve special attention in this regard and the government is highly committed in developing the sector.
“To safeguard creativity and innovation, we have enacted multiple Acts that protects IP in Bangladesh, including the recently adopted Bangladesh Patent Act 2022 and Plant Varieties Protection Act 2019,” he said.
Recently, he said, Bangladesh Design Act-2023 has been placed in the Jatiya Sangshad . Under such a legal regime, IP registration is mandatory for patents and designs in Bangladesh.
“By prioritizing the protection, utilization, and management of IP assets, Bangladesh can secure a prosperous future built on knowledge, creativity, and the power of innovation,” he said.
The state minister said, the government is committed to equip people with skills and knowledge to realize the dream of Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Smart Bangladesh ,
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,” he said.
Together, he said, they can create an environment where women entrepreneurs thrive, innovation flourishes, and economic empowerment becomes a reality for all.
The state minister said SMEs are the backbone of Bangladesh 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 services, said the state minister.