Government moves to protect Small and Medium-sized Agro-processing industry
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, August 28, 2017
The government has taken a step to protect Small and Medium-sized (SME) business owners in the agro-processing industry. This is being achieved through a three-day workshop on the Management of Intellectual Property Assets for Small and Medium-sized enterprises, being held at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown.
The seminar which runs from August 28 to 30, is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams SC delivering opening remarks said that the government is keen to develop agro-processing industry in Guyana.
Minister Williams noted that over the years there have numerous complaints about the lack of protection for Guyanese branded products.
“Our government has always been saying we need to have agro-processing because the nature of our agricultural industries and the hinterland regions etcetera, the President has always been speaking about that, that we should have a lot of our products processed and stored effectively so that they could be marketed” the Attorney General explained.
The Attorney General added that it was important for enterprises to be cognizant of the benefits of intellectual property rights. He made reference to a conversation he had with President David Granger who said that while overseas he used sugar branded Demerara sugar but was produced and branded in Mauritius.
This was in relation to the “Demerara Gold” brand of sugar produced here in Guyana. “So, you wonder how our sugar is
being branded Demerara sugar but then it is produced in Mauritius and so I believe that it is very important that we continue to push globally for the development and expansion of intellectual property and protection of assets, not only of country but of individuals” the Attorney General stated.
SME and WIPO Counsellor Anil Sinha stressed that business owners need to take intellectual property rights seriously. He said that Guyana is a country that is blessed by nature and endowed by tremendous natural resources which can contribute to the growth and development of the country.
“Intellectual property is essentially a way to protect, to obtain property rights on intellectual creations, elations of the human mind. We will of course during the course of these three days go into each and every detail. The patent, the copyright the industrial design, the trade mark, the geographical indication, trade secrets, etcetera.” Sinha explained.
Sinha pointed out that on the conclusion of the workshop, firms will be able to protect their brand and derive a number of financial benefits. He noted that branding will help local businesses be more successful and as such business owners should focus emphasis on protecting their brand.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite