After nearly 20 years on the United States’ watch list of countries with intellectual property (IP) concerns, the Philippines was removed from the list last year and have managed to keep off it for the second consecutive year.
The US Trade Representative’s report, released this month, covers 72 trading partners of which 37 on the list are countries with IP issues. The report stated the Philippine government has strived to improve business practices in the country and crack down on IP issues and for this reason they are now in the green.
The Philippines was first identified as an IP risk country back in 1989 and was subsequently put on the watch list in 1994, they have improved IP practices through restructured procedures, enhanced inter-agency cooperation, and more effective enforcement action including enhanced seizure of illegally distributed pirated and counterfeit goods.
The EU is the Philippines 5th largest trading partner, accounting for 10% of total trade in goods in 2011. Trade between the two areas is mostly in automotive and electrical products, but is increasing in other sectors as well, and the government vows to continue proper enforcement of IP so as to facilitate that increase.