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December 14th, 2011 WW Staff | NikeLeaks Cables: Africa and Middle East
 

UAE: ECONOMY MINISTER SHEIKHA LUBNA ON IPR, TIFA PLUS

     
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Reference ID: 07ABUDHABI1157
Created: 2007-07-11 13:21
Released: 2011-08-30 01:44
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Origin: Embassy Abu Dhabi

VZCZCXRO9325
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHAD #1157/01 1921321
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111321Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9331
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 001157
 
SIPDIS
 
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP, EB/TPP/BTA, AND EB/IFD/OIA
STATE PASS USTR FOR SHAUN DONNELLY
DUBAI FOR ATO DWILLIAMS
 
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON EAGR AE
SUBJECT: ECONOMY MINISTER SHEIKHA LUBNA ON IPR, TIFA PLUS
 
1. (SBU) Summary: On July 10, Ambassador and Econchief met
with UAE Minister of Economy Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi to
follow-up on the June 29 TIFA plus meeting in Washington.
Sheikha Lubna told Ambassador that she thought that it was an
"excellent meeting."  She expressed interest in deepening the
relationship, suggesting that the U.S. and the UAE sign a
joint economic agreement providing for senior-level
consultations.  She told Ambassador that Dubai Customs has
seized 75 shipments of counterfeit U.S. products during the
2006-2007 time frame.  She also expressed interest in
cooperation and information-sharing on Halal certification
standards, but noted that the General Secretariat of
Municipalities, rather than her ministry, has the lead on
food labeling.  End Summary.
 
Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Actions
--------------------------------------------- ---
 
2. (SBU) Sheikha Lubna told Ambassador that on her return
from the June 29 meeting, she had instructed Dubai Customs to
give her more information on actions taken against
counterfeit products.  In response, Dubai Customs reported
that there had been 400 cases related to seizures of
counterfeit products (including compact discs and car parts)
in 2006.  Many of these seizures were customs seizures.
Dubai Customs also provided her with a statistical breakdown
of seizures of counterfeits of U.S. products over the 2006-07
timeframe, which Sheikha Lubna shared with Ambassador.
(Note:  The information does not include size or value of
seizures. End note.)  The document showed the following:
 
-- Nike: 16 seizures
-- Diesel: 12 seizures
-- Polo: 11 seizures
-- HP: 9 seizures
-- Phillip Morris: 9 seizures
-- Ford: 5 seizures
-- Burberry: 5 seizures
-- AC Delco: 4 seizures
-- GM: 4 seizures
 
3. (SBU) Sheikha Lubna added that, during the last six
months, the Ministry of Economy and Dubai Customs established
an electronic link, giving Dubai Customs a direct connection
to the ministry's trade mark database.  She stressed that
firms having complaints about copyright violations could
contact the Ministry of Economy and the Federal Customs
Authority to follow-up.  Ambassador suggested that Embassy
invite the American Business Groups of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to
an early September meeting, where Ministry of Economy and
Federal Customs officials could discuss IPR enforcement, an
idea strongly supported by Sheikha Lubna.  On July 11,
Econchief contacted Mohammed Al-Mehari the head of the
Federal Customs Authority, who expressed tentative interest
in the idea.  Post will follow-up with UAEG and with American
business groups.
 
Standards
---------
 
4. (SBU) Sheikha Lubna also emphasized her interest in
exchanging information on standards issues, especially on
Halal slaughtering.  She noted that she had seen occasional
"mix-ups" relating to Halal certifications of products
containing pork products from Europe, Australia, and the U.S.
  She noted that Muslims could react "emotionally" to this
particular mistake, and that she was looking for ways to
clarify the certification process.  She noted that National
U.S. - Arab Chamber of Commerce President David Hamod had
expressed interest in cooperating on this issue during his
recent visit to Abu Dhabi.  She said that she would need to
get buy-in from the General Secretariat of Municipalities,
which had the lead on food certification issues.
 
Companies Law Changes Dragging
------------------------------
 
5. (SBU) In response to Ambassador's question, Sheikha Lubna
admitted that revisions to the Companies' law were
"dragging."  UAE Prime Minister/Ruler of Dubai Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum had instructed her to consult
widely on the revisions.  Although all of the emirate level
departments of economy had approved the changes, she was
waiting on the Dubai Chamber of Commerce (DCCI).  The head of
the DCCI had told her that he would talk about it after the
summer.  Sheikha Lubna noted wryly that she still heard
 
ABU DHABI 00001157  002 OF 002
 
 
complaints about the revisions that had been made to the
Agencies law.
 
Joint Economic Framework Agreement
----------------------------------
 
6. (SBU) Sheikha Lubna suggested that the U.S. and the UAE
sign a joint economic agreement. She explained that the UAEG
had several such agreements (under a Ministry of Foreign
Affairs umbrella) providing for ministerial level meetings.
She suggested that a formal agreement would send a message to
the private sector about the close U.S. - UAE economic ties
and help push back on negative reactions to the suspension of
the FTA talks.
SISON
 
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