As Canada is poised to strengthen its global reach in international markets, the federal government announced last September the launch of an exploratory discussion on a potential free trade agreement (FTA) with China. In recent years, China has become an innovation driven economy that is more receptive to international trade and investments. However, this emergence does not come without challenges for Canadian businesses interested in establishing business relationships with China.
The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) International Law Research Program (ILRP) and Global Affairs Canada envisage that the roundtable on IP and innovation in China will develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities for Canadian firms seeking to gain or sustain market access in China. The roundtable is a timely intervention in discussions on a potential Canada-China FTA and what progressive elements Canada and China can consider for a future collaboration. The objective of the roundtable is to (i) ascertain the main IP challenges encountered by Canadian businesses in China, (ii) identify best practices for Canadian businesses so as to minimize pitfalls from operating under China's legal, economic and political infrastructure, and (iii) discuss how best to reduce the costs and challenges of China’s innovation policy and its domestic technical standard requirements for foreign firms.
Bassem Awad is a senior fellow and was previously the deputy director of International Intellectual Property Law and Innovation at CIGI.
Oonagh E. Fitzgerald was director of international law at CIGI from April 2014 to February 2020. In this role, she established and oversaw CIGI’s international law research agenda, which included policy-relevant research on issues of international economic law, environmental law, IP law and innovation, and Indigenous law.