HC Deb 24 February 1995 vol 255 cc381-2W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Governments of(a) the United Kingdom or (b) Hong Kong about the counterfeiting of software products or software-based products; and what assessment he has made of whether the actions being taken by the Government of the USA or the People's Republic of China as a result of concerns about counterfeiting have had, or could have, any impact on Hong Kong.

Mr. Goodlad

We receive from time to time expressions of concern about piracy of software in countries overseas. We recognise the seriousness of piracy of intellectual property and use all means available to encourage other countries to introduce and enforce acceptable standards of intellectual property protection.

The Hong Kong Government have received representations from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry on the need to strengthen controls against compact disc piracy by increasing the maximum statutory penalty for copyright infringement offences.

If Sino-American talks on the protection of intellectual property rights do not produce agreement, the US Government's proposed tariffs on certain Chinese merchandise imports are implemented. The Hong Kong Government estimate that this could lead to the loss of up to 4,700 jobs in Hong Kong, affect 2.3 per cent. or HK$4.5 billion of Hong Kong's re-exports from China to the United States, and reduce GDP growth by 0.14 per cent.