IPEG devoted significant efforts to develop capacity building projects for MSMEs to acquire the necessary IP tools for their profit and growth. This is in line with the declarations made at the 2016 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting where ministers encouraged further cooperation in the area of IP rights protection and enforcement, and in raising MSMEs’ awareness of IP commercialization. During this period, three project proposals on the matter were granted funding.

IPEG continued its proactive dialogue on developing the APEC Best Practices in Trade Secrets Protection and Enforcement and completing it on the basis of consensus. Thanks to the efforts by all economies and continuous communication at all levels, the document was endorsed.

IPEG has also been working on different elemental axis for intellectual property issues. IP in the online environment has brought to light new opportunities and challenges, which is why IPEG dedicated part of its discussions to enforcement, facilitation of rights, awareness tools, information sharing, and transparency under the digital era.

Another important line of work is the sharing of best practices and information on regulatory updates in the region, development of examination tools, activities for boosting the usage of the international IP system, perspectives on geographical indications, as well as in genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

In addition, IPEG paid special attention to human capital development, sharing initiatives on capacity building and technical cooperation not only for public awareness, but also for the improvement of procedures and quality of granted patents and trademark registrations.