Benefits of an FTA in South-East Asia from SMEs’ perspective: experience from Vietnam


EU-VietnamFTA – An increasingly hot topic in South-East Asia

Brief overview of the advantages of FTA

In recent decades Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have become more and more prolific in South-East Asia as nations strive to boost the volume of trade. FTAs are considered to be beneficial, as they; enhance trading opportunities, increase exports, create stronger ties between trading partners, offer new opportunities for foreign investment and wider economic integration by lowering trade barriers and harmonizing legal and regulatory systems through the application of international standards.

On-going FTA negotiations in South-East Asia

The instrument of FTAs is widely used by various governments. Currently, there is a great number of FTAs (almost 40 according to World Trade Organization (WTO)) already in the implementation phase in the South-East Asia region and many more in the negotiation phase. Vietnam, for example, is included in the implementation of at least 12 FTAs and has recently initialled 4 more FTAs, including the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA). The European Union (EU) has worked towards establishing FTAs with a number of South-East Asian countries in order to boost trade in a more predictable environment for trade and investment relations. Following the conclusion of the EU-Singapore FTA in 2014, negotiations with Vietnam were completed in December 2015 – the same month in which negotiations for an FTA with the Philippines were launched. The EU also remains committed to resuming negotiations with Malaysia and Thailand when conditions are right. It has also concluded the scoping exercise with Indonesia and is working towards the opening of FTA negotiations. This article will take a closer look at the changes that the EVFTA will implement in relation to IPR and what this may mean for European SMEs. Continue reading “Benefits of an FTA in South-East Asia from SMEs’ perspective: experience from Vietnam” »

South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Industrial Designs in Malaysia

creative picture4An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of a product and is handled by the Industrial Designs Registry at the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia.

In today’s article we’ll be looking into the ins and outs of Malaysia’s Industrial Design laws.

Continue reading “South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Industrial Designs in Malaysia” »

South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Industrial Designs in Indonesia

Mech Eng 2In today’s South-East Asia IPR Basics article, we’ll be continuing our Indonesia series and looking into the rules, regulations and enforcement options for industrial design rights in Indonesia.

As always, if you’d like any more information, feel free to check out our website, or contact our experts for free on our IPR Helpline.

Continue reading “South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Industrial Designs in Indonesia” »

South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Design Rights Protection in Thailand

Following on from our last IPR Basics post, today we’d like to talk about protection for design rights in Thailand.

Design rights, otherwise referred to as ‘design patents’ protect the distinctive shape, pattern, or colour (or combination of these elements) of a given product. Protection does not usually last as long as for true ‘invention’ or ‘utility model’ patents, however the protection given can still represent a significant commercial advantage to rights holders.

In this article, we look at the core protection available for rights holders, as well as registration procedures and enforcement options in South-East Asia’s second largest economy.


As always, if you like this article and have more questions regarding design rights or any other IPRs in Thailand, or South-East Asia generally, feel free to take a look at the materials on our website, or get in touch with an expert today!

Continue reading “South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Design Rights Protection in Thailand” »

Espresso IP 5: Semiconductor topographies in the Philippines

espressoIP-01Automation and robotics are going to change the future. But robots are nothing without the chips and processors that breathe life into them–and into any number of appliances, phones, and even automobiles. The design of these chips is governed by semiconductor topographies (also known as integrated circuit layout-designs, a form of industrial design) in the Philippines.

In this podcast, hosts Alexander Bayntun-Lees and Samuel Sabasteanski discuss the intellectual property laws governing semiconductor topographies in the Philippines, including applications, examinations, and protection. As always, for more information on protecting your IP, send our South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk experts a message.

Espresso IP 005 – Semiconductor topographies in the Philippines (Length – 4:23)