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Singaporean Daren Tang Officially Appointed as the Next WIPO Director General

Post Time:2020-05-14 Source:IPOS Author: Views:

Singapore, 8 May 2020 – Mr Daren Tang, Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has been officially appointed as the next Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO is a specialised United Nations (UN) agency based in Geneva, Switzerland, with 193 member states and an annual revenue in excess of S$600 million. Mr Tang will take over the helm of WIPO on 1 October 2020 for a term of six years. This marks the first time a Singaporean will lead a UN agency, and WIPO's first Director General from Asia.


In his acceptance speech (https://youtu.be/HQsU9Wrmnro), Mr Tang thanked all member states for their support and paid tribute, in particular, to the WIPO staff and out-going Director General Dr Francis Gurry. He also outlined the global challenges faced by the world today, including the “deeper forces of unilateralism and parochialism” threatening to undermine multilateral institutions, and urged member states to respond by working “even more closely together” through a common, global effort. Mr Tang shared that WIPO has grown stronger and more relevant since its inception 50 years ago due to the “proven willingness of all member states to share joint responsibility, confront challenges, and transform together.” Laying out his plans for WIPO, Mr Tang prioritised the need to build an inclusive, balanced, vibrant, and forward-looking global intellectual property (IP) ecosystem. (Please see Annex A for summary of Mr Tang's plans for WIPO and acceptance speech)


Senior Minister of State (Law and Health), Mr Edwin Tong, said: “Congratulations to Daren for being the first Singaporean to lead a UN Agency and to be appointed as Director General of WIPO. This is a momentous occasion for Singapore.  Under Daren's leadership as Chief Executive of IPOS we have seen Singapore's IP ecosystem flourish. During his term, Singapore has risen in ranks to become second globally and top in Asia for the best IP protection in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. As he takes on the new role as Director General of the WIPO, I wish Daren all the best in leading the organisation towards building a more vibrant IP community internationally. I believe that Daren will continue his great work at WIPO and contribute towards moulding the future of the global IP ecosystem.”


Chairman of the IPOS Board, Dr Stanley Lai, said: “On behalf of the IPOS Board of Directors, we extend our heartiest congratulations to IPOS Chief Executive Daren Tang for being officially appointed as the next Director General of the WIPO. We are confident that he will bring the same vision orientation, energy, outcomes, and capabilities that have come to define him during his time at IPOS into the auspices of WIPO. Having worked with him for several years, the Board is certain that the global IP community will be served by a Director General who is exceptionally attuned to the interests of countries, economies, and also equipped with a deep understanding of IP and its forceful impact on innovation and global development, especially during these challenging times. These qualities will serve WIPO, her member states and the larger IP community well.”


Dr Lai added, “IPOS remains committed as an active member of the international IP community, and we will continue to partner and support the important work of WIPO. We wish Daren every success and look forward to working with him and WIPO to build the future of the global IP ecosystem.”


Mr Tang will relinquish his role as the Chief Executive of IPOS, a statutory board under the Ministry of Law, where he drove the strategic transformation of IPOS from an IP registry and regulator into an innovation agency that helps to build Singapore's future economy. His term saw major updates to Singapore's IP Hub Masterplan, legislative and policy reforms to the IP regime and a scaling up of international engagement. IPOS today has cooperation agreements with over 70 regional and international partners. Under his leadership, Singapore ranked second globally and top in Asia for the best IP protection in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report and IPOS was recognised as the world's most innovative IP office by the World Trademark Review in 2020.1

[1] World Trademark Review, 6 Apr 2020.

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