- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
Sri Lanka pressed by USTR on IP protection, GM food
Lanka Business | 17 Oct, 2009
Sri Lanka pressed by US on IP protection, GM food
Oct 17, 2009 (LBO) — The United States has asked Sri Lanka, ranked high for software piracy in Asia, to better enforce intellectual property rights and also lift restrictions on American imports like genetically modified food.
A visiting senior American official, Michael Delaney, assistant US Trade Representative for South Asia, said intellectual property protection was one of the concerns that figured in trade talks this week between the two sides.
"We’d like to see a strengthened focus on intellectual property protection and strengthened enforcement," he told LBO soon after talks on trade and investment between a visiting US business delegation and Sri Lankan officials.
It was the first round of talks under the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) after the island’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May hen government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger separatists.
Sri Lanka was ranked the second worst offender in software piracy in 2008 for the second year running in a survey of Asia by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) industry body and industry research firm IDC.
The survey published in May showed that Bangladesh was the biggest culprit in the region last year with a piracy rate of 92 percent and Sri Lanka a close second at 90 percent.
It mirrored a similar survey by BSA in 2007 which showed Bangladesh had the highest Asian piracy rate in 2007, at 92 percent, followed by Sri Lanka’s 90 percent.
Sri Lanka’s Director-General of Commerce Gomi Senadheera acknowledged the US concerns on IP rights and said the government was trying to improve enforcement.
"They had concerns with regard to IP. In the last few years we have made a lot of progress. We have the rules in place — it is enforcement that’s the issue."
Delaney also said restrictions on US imports by Sri Lanka had figured in the talks.
"There are a variety of restrictions on US imports."
These include GM food, Delaney said.
Sri Lanka introduced rules to ban GM food imports some years ago but later relaxed them after protests from importers.
Agriculture development minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara said in July this year that Sri Lanka favours GM food imports, albeit with some restrictions, and that the government was consulting US experts on allowing GM food imports and cultivation of GM crops.
Nanayakkara said imported GM food is being consumed in the island although officially it is not allowed in Sri Lanka and imports of GM food were not labelled as such.
GM crops are genetically modified to improve resistance to disease, pests or drought and improve yields, but there is a growing debate about potential harmful impacts on humans and animals.
A US embassy statement said the TIFA talks this week helped attract US private sector investment in post-war Sri Lanka which would serve to generate jobs, particularly in the conflict-affected areas of the island.
Among the issues discussed were Sri Lanka’s agricultural biotechnology policies, high import tariffs, intellectual property rights protection and transparency in government procurement, it said.
News from the movements
20-Feb-2017 S2BGlobalisation is at a dangerous crossroads. One path leads to regained policy-space for governments to address climate change, inequality and other pressing issues of our times. The other leads to more rights for corporations to bully decision-makers.
18-Feb-2017 Le DauphinéAlors que le CETA vient d’être ratifié par le Parlement européen, Grenoble organise samedi, après Barcelone, les 2e Rencontres paneuropéennes des villes contre TAFTA - CETA – TISA,
17-Feb-2017 bilaterals.orgEl Coordinador de la Coalición nacional senegalesa “No a los AAE” nos habla de dos proyectos de libre comercio en relación con África: los Acuerdos de asociación económica y la Zona continental de libre comercio
16-Feb-2017 Une Seule Planète
Mouvement citoyens et pouvoirs locaux : quelle alliance pour construire les alternatives aux accords de libre-échange ?La logique des accords de libre-échange est celle d’une croissance infinie des richesses, d’une nature inépuisable d’une capacité exponentielle de l’Humanité à mobiliser le génie scientifique nécessaire pour minimiser les externalités sociales ou environnementales.
15-Feb-2017 RTThe European Parliament has approved a landmark free trade deal between the EU and Canada. Hundreds gathered in Strasbourg, France to protest the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
13-Feb-2017 We Move EuropeEste es un momento crucial para bloquear el CETA. Los eurodiputados tienen una última oportunidad de pararlo el miércoles… ¡pero la votación será reñida! Dile a los eurodiputados que no queremos peligrosos tratados en nuestras vidas.
11-Feb-2017 bilaterals.orgThe Coordinator of the National Coalition "No to EPAs" in Senegal discusses two free trade projects in Africa: Economic Partnership Agreements and the Continental Free Trade Area.
10-Feb-2017 Mediapart (blog)Des centaines de citoyen.ne.s venus de toute l’Europe se retrouveront à Strasbourg pour deux jours de mobilisation durant lesquels ils rappelleront qu’un autre commerce, au service des peuples et de la planète, est possible !
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.