BIPA registers 239 Chinese businesses

The Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) says it registered over 230 Chinese-owned businesses in Namibia as of last year as the authority strengthens cooperation with its Chinese counterpart.

This comes at a time when there are concerns about Chinese businesses operating in Namibia without valid documents, and also selling counterfeit goods.

In addition, if successful, it will curb the importation of fake products, as China remains the biggest market for many local entrepreneurs ordering goods for reselling, which would later be confiscated by immigration officials due to intellectual property issues.

"I would like to encourage strengthened cooperation between BIPA and its sister organisation, China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), especially in areas of patent examination and digitalisation of the business processes. Therefore, in a fast-growing digital economy, another component worth discussion is intellectual property protection," said Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT) deputy minister Verna Sinimbo.

The Deputy Minister said this at an engagement meeting involving BIPA and Chinese stakeholders at the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek.

"The registration and protection of intellectual property is a powerful tool for businesses to protect their ideas, innovations, and creations. Intellectual property can be used as collateral for loans or investments, as it provides a tangible asset that can be valued and leveraged. It is also a very effective tool to scale up their operations," Sinimbo said, as she emphasised the significance of upholding IP rights.

In that regard, she said Namibia has made significant strides in protecting intellectual property rights in recent years, having implemented a number of legal frameworks and policies that are designed to protect domestic and foreign inventions.

"We are continuously working hard to ensure that these frameworks are enforced. However, there is always more work to be done. Hence, as we continue to grow and expand our economy, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to protect our intellectual property and ensure that businesses in Namibia have the support they need to thrive," she stated. 

The holding of this event has demonstrated once again that the Namibian government welcomes foreign investment, and is providing them with all the necessary services to facilitate their business operation and development. I am sure all the participants today will benefit from this programme.

The Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhao Weiping, while highlighting the importance and benefits of holding such engagements, said the Chinese government has made consistent efforts in protecting IP since the 1980s by establishing sophisticated legal systems and enforcement mechanisms.

"The Chinese Embassy is very glad to partner with BIPA in hosting today's event because we share the same goal of enhancing IP protection either in China or Namibia and we also want to provide a better service to the Chinese business community here to help them familiarize with Namibian laws and regulations in various fields."

Vievienne Katjiongua, CEO of BIPA, said the event was meant to further inculcate the importance of collaboration, as well as a reminder to stakeholders that they should not perceive themselves as entities that operate in silos, but rather as a community of partners who share a common vision and have an active role to play in achieving the goal.

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Last modified on Thursday, 30 March 2023 13:25

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