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MoU signed to strengthen business competitiveness

Sep 17, 2019

Towards strengthening business competitiveness through brands and designs among the local manufacturers and producers, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) of a five-year project with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today. The project is expected to empower stakeholders to effectively use the intellectual property system in the country.

The project will assist in promoting some of the potential Bhutanese products in the international markets by enhancing their competitive edge through branding and design strategies. Challenges such as lack of awareness on branding and designs, the limited external market, stiff competition from regional market and absence of experts among others will all be addressed through this five-year project.

“Overall it is quite an exciting project given that we have a wide range of local products that can be improved with the proper packaging as well as the use of brands. Because I think if strategically used, brands really add value to a product and then they become much more marketable, also fetch premium prices based on how it is packaged and how it is marketed. So I think in the long run it will also lead to an improvement in the quality of the products,” Kinley T. Wangchuk, the Director-General (DG) of  Dept. of Intellectual Property, said.

Brands or trademarks are powerful symbols of identification in the market place that creates tremendous value for organization or businesses. Despite enjoying huge potentials, the poor branding culture in the country has hindered the Bhutanese products from entering the international market.

“If you go to a stall, what is it the first thing that really catches your eye? I think before you even question the contents and quality of the products, the first thing that gets you is the presentation of the products, the way that brands and designs are used to actually add aesthetic value to increase the attractiveness of a package. So I think if used strategically, it will really increase the marketability of a given product.”

As of last year, the IP department received 18,000 trademark applications of which only 211 were national applicants. The trademark registration system is the major revenue generator for the department as of today. The department generated a revenue of over Nu 110 M through the registry last year.

Sonam Pem

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