As we say farewell to 2019, we enter 2020 with new aspirations. At this great moment of ringing the old year out and the New Year in, I'd like to, on behalf of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), express my New Year greetings to all the staff and retired veteran comrades of the national intellectual property (IP) system, and my sincere gratitude to leaders at all levels and friends from all circles who care about and support the development of China's IP cause!
2019 marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Through vicissitudes over the past 70 years, we have created a "Chinese miracle" that has attracted worldwide attention in this land with rich history. In this great historical process, IP has grown from a promising seedling to a towering tree with deep roots.
As an ancient Chinese poem says, "Looking ordinary, they are most outstanding. Looking easy to write, they are indeed difficult to accomplish." Today's achievements come from past tireless efforts. In 2019, we continued our determined steps with a strong sense of fulfillment as always. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with comrade Xi Jinping at the core, while "staying true to our founding mission," we continued to strive and write a new chapter. Over the past year, we have further studied and carried out the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and conscientiously implemented General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions on IP work and the decisions and overall plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Accordingly, we focused on improving IP examination quality and efficiency, and made greater efforts to promote transaction fee reduction, streamlined documentary requirements and process optimization, so that innovation and market players have a stronger sense of fulfillment. The General Secretary chaired a meeting to consider and adopt the Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, which was issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council to work as fundamental guidelines for IPR protection in the new era. Important progress has been made in formulating a strategic outline for building national IP strength. The Trademark Law has been revised and formally implemented, which greatly increased the cost of infringement and violation of laws. In 2019, the total amount of patent and trademark pledge financing exceeded RMB 150 billion, which helped small and medium-sized enterprises tackle more financing difficulties. The total IP import and export volume exceeded RMB 200 billion, of which export maintained a rapid growth momentum. We continued to strengthen overall supervision of patent agency, abnormal application, standard implementation certification, among others, for a healthier and cleaner industry environment. The Belt and Road Initiative and other IP cooperation have seen further progress. We have concluded the China-EU negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect and cooperate on geographical indications. China ranked 14th in WIPO's 2019 Global Innovation Index and 31st in business environment according to the World Bank. This progress has provided a better support for China's opening up. In the meantime, we continued to press forward in ensuring full and strict governance over the Party. While making Party building more effective in government agencies, we have made more progress in creating a deterrent against corruption, strengthening institutions that prevents corruption, and building moral defenses against corruption, so as to provide a more powerful political guarantee for IP development.
With dreams and a strong sense of mission in mind, we will have more strength to move ahead. In 2020, we will finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fulfill the 13th Five-year Plan. It is also the closing year for the national IP strategy outline. We will also complete the formulation of the strategic outline for strengthening the country through IP. Therefore, it is of great significance to the whole country and the IP development. At the important junction of these two major IP strategies, we need to move forward with more courage and diligence to overcome all difficulties. We must adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to maintain political integrity, think in terms of the big picture, follow the leadership core, keep in alignment with the central Party leadership, and have full confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must resolutely safeguard Xi Jinping's core status within the Communist Party of China (CPC) and its Central Committee and uphold the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership. Accordingly, we will faithfully implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and uphold the underlying principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability. Specifically, we will promote high-quality development with a good top-level design, deepen reform and innovation, strengthen IPR creation, protection and application, enhance the IPR public service level, make more efforts in international IPR protection cooperation, improve the IP governance capability and level, focus on key points, tackle difficulties and bottlenecks, and foster new highlights, so as to embark on a new journey of building China's IP strength in the new era.
"Though the Way is near, if you do not travel along it, you will not reach the end. Though the task is small, if it is not acted upon, it will not be completed." On our way forward, we will always be dream chasers. Let's unite more closely around the CPC Central Committee with comrade Xi Jinping at the core, seize the time to make a concerted, down-to-earth effort with a pioneering spirit and perseverance to continue building China's intellectual property strength and write a more brilliant chapter in realizing the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.