The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mohamed bin Hassan al-Malki, participated in the International Conference on Mediation and Arbitration held in Doha on Monday.

The conference was organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), in co-operation with the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) under the theme ‘The Role of Intellectual Property in Promoting Economic Growth: Analysing the Relationship Between Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Foreign Direct Investment Flows’.

In his opening speech, al-Malki emphasised the importance of the event, which is being held for the first time in the region, and highlighted the co-operative efforts between Qatar and WIPO.

He said the conference represents a strategic step in Qatar’s efforts to establish the protection of intellectual property rights as a culture, awareness, and system, making it a cornerstone of economic activity and one of the most important intangible assets for both national and foreign companies, as well as business ventures in Qatar. It also represents a significant step in enhancing co-operation with international economic organisations, particularly WIPO, to achieve common goals, he noted.

Al-Malki said due to the importance of protecting intellectual property rights for economic initiatives and the need to foster an environment that supports foreign investment through the development of personnel who are capable of enforcing these rights, Qatar has established regulations concerning the use of alternative dispute resolution methods for commercial disputes.

Specifically, this is through the arbitration system or Law No 2 of 2017, which issued the Arbitration Law for Civil and Commercial Matters, aimed at providing a secure environment for resolving commercial disputes, particularly for foreign investors.

Al-Malki noted that with the increasing attention to intellectual property rights, Qatar has intensified its efforts to provide effective and alternative means of resolving these types of disputes.

This led MoCI to collaborate with WIPO and sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2022 regarding the settlement of intellectual property disputes through alternative dispute resolution methods.

Al-Malki noted that the scope of the MoU includes arrangements for training arbitrators and mediators within Qatar and expressed his anticipation for expanding this partnership with WIPO and exploring other avenues of co-operation.

On the sidelines of the conference, al-Malki met with Marco Aleman, assistant director general, IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector of WIPO, to review aspects of co-operation between Qatar and WIPO.

They discussed strengthening partnerships between the two sides. Both parties aim to assess the implementation of joint projects and programmes and discuss opportunities to further enhance partnerships while exploring ways of supporting the development of national policies and competencies in IP.

Al-Malki also expressed Qatar’s appreciation for the support provided by WIPO in helping develop the country’s IP policies and systems, particularly in light of the ongoing development of the National Intellectual Property Strategy and the activation of the signed memoranda of understanding between the two sides.

He reaffirmed Qatar’s commitment to and continuous support for WIPO in developing a balanced and effective international IP system that encourages innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.

The International Conference on Mediation and Arbitration also aims to provide a platform for exchanging expertise, knowledge, and co-operation among specialists in IP rights, mediation, arbitration, and foreign direct investment in the Middle East. The conference enhances participants’ perspectives on how to strengthen their IP frameworks and attract foreign direct investment by sharing experiences and reviewing best practices and international standards in this field.

The conference sessions incorporate the means available to governments to enhance investment attractiveness, stimulate growth, and promote technology transfer through a robust IP framework and effective dispute resolution mechanisms, with a focus on the Middle East region.
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