Widely famous for its economic dynamism, ASEAN is not well known as a region of intellectual property creation.

Patented assets owned by regional entities have remained very small in volume, notwithstanding the fast-paced, electronics-based transformation in regional production and trade from the 1990s. This is a matter for significant concern because inventions and innovations are the foundation of durable comparative advantage, higher value addition, and high value-added activities.

Inevitably, the technological creativity and capabilities of ASEAN have to be shifted upwards for better synergy with the greatly intensified global competition, the accelerating technological progress, the more sophisticated and exacting market requirements, and the stronger and broader protection of intellectual property rights.

The transition process will be highly demanding on resources, imagination, and perseverance, not least because capacity- and institutional- building requires lumpy investment, changed mindsets, and long periods of gestation.

Nevertheless, the outstanding and speedy transformation in microelectronics capabilities among the East Asian developing economies gives grounds for guarded optimism as regards the prospects for transitional success among the miracle economies in Southeast Asia.

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Posted by: David Oh on 22/9/2005 4:41:55 PM