The President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania, Mr. Enio Jaço was guest of honor at the Annual Conference on International IP Day organized by the General Directorate of Intellectual Property.
“Intellectual Property and Sports – To Achieve the Best” was IP Day slogan that brought together the Minister of Finances and Economy, Minister of Culture, Deputy Mission Director of the Embassy of the Swiss Confederation, as well as artists and sportspeople, who work together to strengthen the legal framework that intellectual property rights.
During his speech, AmCham President, emphasized the continuous work the business community is doing on IP rights protection, Mr. Jaço stated: ‘The main issue that our members face in Albania is that of fake, counterfeit, piracy and illicit trade in general. These are issues that seriously affect our members. BSA Global Software Survey which estimates the volume and value of unlicensed software installed on personal computers, and reveals attitudes and behaviors related to intellectual property and emerging technologies, shows that Albania ranks at 73%.
IT industries estimate a $240M loss from $80M sales volume – coming from piracy, fake products or brands. This is unfair – imagine how big a global company can feel when products from only 10 products are paid through licenses but five are stolen. This is also illegal. AmCham members are systematically faced with fake products, trading of unlicensed products and products entering the market illegally. All three of these forms are serious breaches of the international business norms in a country that is working to open negotiations with the European Union.
AmCham Business Index for 2018 reflects a slight increase of 2,19 % on IP situation in Albania – moving from 45.24 % in 2017 to 47.43 % in 2018. However, there is still much work forward to reduce the losses from piracy and fake products for market industries.
AmCham will focus on the improvement of the IPR situation in the country, by developing the inter-institutional dialogue, empowering the market monitoring inspectors and increasing awareness on law enforcement. In specific, AmCham will undertake action in:
- Creating Stakeholders Group on IP rights as the first step forward. Key line institutions, responsible for implementing and monitoring IP rights, will meet and discuss on a regular basis challenges affecting the IP community and undertake legal actions for improvement.
- Collaborating strongly with Customs on preventing piracy and fake products entering the market. Regular awareness activities on customs legislations, trademarks and patents registration and how to identify fake products will be conducted.
- Focusing on market inspection as AmCham priority for 2019 – Efforts and lobbying actions will be presented in the Annual AmCham Conference on “Market Inspection and Operation of Inspectorates”
- Ensuring strong collaboration with Industrial Directorate to fight IP law infringements.
Better harmonization of all these elements creates a better working climate for businesses, a guarantee for investors, a better IP situation and therefore makes Albania more attractive for foreign investments.