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INTA Study Demonstrates Economic Importance of Trademark in Five ASEAN Countries

On 12th September 2017, the International Trademark Association (“INTA”) released its latest economic research and study report on “Economic Contributions of Trademark-intensive Industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand” (“the Study”).  The Study demonstrates that trademark-intensive activities generate increased employment across sectors and added contributions to the value of cross-border trade.

The purpose of the Study is to assess the economic contribution of trademark-intensive industries in 5 economies in the ASEAN region: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, which between them account for nearly 90% of the ASEAN community’s combined GDP.[1]

The Study shows that the direct contribution of trademark-intensive industries to GDP varies between around a fifth and a third of GDP.  In all of the five economies, manufacturing is the dominant force in trademark-intensive activities.[2]

The Study uses the econometric analysis method and it suggests that for the set of countries as a whole, the effect of the trademark-intensiveness on value added per worker is strongly positive and significant. The value added per worker increases when moving from a non-trademark intensive industry to a trademark-intensive industry by 90% on average across the five countries, 95% in the Thailand specifically and 57% on average when controlling for patent separately.[3]

For Thailand, looking at data from 2012 to 2015, trademark-intensive industries within Thailand generated a 22% direct contribution to GDP and 40% indirect contribution to GDP. In terms of employment, output, and value-added, workers’ share of the workforce represented 13% of total employment. Trademark-intensive industries in Thailand comprised 60% of the country’s share of exports, including manufacturing of computers and electronics, and automobiles which each accounted for around 13% of total manufacturing value added.[4]

The INTA’s Chief Representative Officer of Asia Pacific Region, Mr. Seth Hays, noted that the low percentage of the employment of the trademark-intensive industries in Thailand has been caused by the fact that Thailand’s economy relies mainly on the agricultural industries which are not trademark-intensive. He suggested that the agricultural industries in Thailand should focus more on protecting and utilizing their trademarks to add value to their businesses and generate more income and increased employment.

“This new study reinforces the notion that trademark-intensive activities play a pivotal role in driving innovation, accelerating economic development, and strengthening international trade for Thailand as the country enacts the new Thailand 4.0 Strategy”, said INTA Member, Dr. Jakkrit Kuanpoth.

The full report of the Study is now accessible online at the INTA’s official website http://www.inta.org/.

[1]  INTA, 2017, The Economic Contribution of Trademark-Intensive Industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, p. 4.

[2] Ibid, p.6.

[3] Ibid, p.6.

[4] Ibid, p.11.


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