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September 15, 2017 Vol. 72 No. 16 Back to Bulletin Main Page

INTA Announces ASEAN Economic Impact Study


This year has been a busy one for the Impact Studies Committee (ISC). Formed in 2016, the ISC commissions and coordinates research projects and studies on behalf of INTA to support the Association’s advocacy efforts, resources, and communications activities.

Earlier this year, the ISC launched two studies. The Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy and New gTLD Cost Impact Survey (available here) were published in February and May, respectively. In August, the ISC successfully completed its third study for the year. INTA commissioned Frontier Economics, a global economics research firm, to develop and produce a study examining the economic contributions of trademark-intensive industries of five nations in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) community.

The Economic Contribution of Trademark-Intensive Industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand is the first of its kind to analyze the correlation between trademark-intensive industries and their economic impact on contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), share of exports, and employment in major markets of Southeast Asia. Utilizing data from 2012 to 2015, the study captures both the direct and indirect value that trademark-intensive industries present to economies, governments, and consumers, and analyzes the central role of trademarks in accelerating economic development and increasing export shares within cross-border supply chains. Trademark-intensive industries are defined as those industries which file more trademarks than other industries, weighted against total employment in that industry.

The study indicates that trademark-intensive activities generate increased employment across various sectors and make positive contributions to international trade. The study results illustrate that direct contribution to GDP in the five countries studied varied between 22 and 50 percent, indirect contribution to GDP ranged from 40 to 60 percent, and workers’ share of the workforce ranged from 13 to 29 percent of total employment. Regarding international trade, trademark-intensive industries, including manufacturing of computers, electronics, and food production, contributed from 27 to 60 percent of each country’s share of exports. Additionally, region-wide analysis suggests that export shares of trademark-intensive industries are highest in the regions where computers and electronics are prominent.


The study was guided by a dedicated and insightful ASEAN Impact Study project team, including Project Team Lead Ai Ming Lee (Rodyk IP, Singapore) and Country Consultants Mila Federis (Federis & Associates Law Office, the Philippines); Dr. Jakkrit Kuanpoth (Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand); Michael Soo (Shook Lin & Bok, Malaysia); and Gunawan Suryomurcito (Rouse, Indonesia). Additionally, the project team received key guidance and support from the ISC.

Together with the reports published by the USPTO and EUIPO looking at their respective economies, the Latin America (available here) and Southeast Asia economic studies undertaken by INTA provide an almost global picture of trademark-intensive industries and their economic contributions.

The results of the ASEAN economic impact study support the potential for increased economic growth throughout Southeast Asia by trademarks promotion within the business community and by further development of national trademark systems. INTA plans to utilize this study to help raise awareness of the value of trademarks to a country’s economy and people, and to support policymakers in developing related legislation.

INTA kicked off the public release of the study at a press conference on August 30 during IP Week @ SG in Singapore. This was the first of a series of press conferences held in all five countries included in the study, concluding yesterday in Indonesia. Read the Asia Pacific Update in this issue of the INTA Bulletin to learn more about the release of the study and INTA’s participation at IP Week @ SG.

The Economic Contribution of Trademark-Intensive Industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand is available here for download.

Click here to learn more about INTA’s Impact Studies or contact the ISC Staff Liaison Sheila Francis at sfrancis@inta.org.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2017 International Trademark Association