b'sector started to invest in R&D basically in two phases:- In the beginning the companies are licensed or assigned PVPs rights from public research institutes and exploited the PVP rights in their own seed business. - Later on, many of the companies built their own R&D capacity for breed-ing new plant varieties, and experienced sufficient growth in order to expand their market overseas. Thus, their abil-ity to compete in the global market increased. At present, many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are invest-ing in R&D facilities with laboratories, field trials, in order to advance their breeding. An example can be seen in the VINA Seed Corporation: they were established in 1968 and at that time, it belonged to the government. From 2003, they became a private company. However, before Vietnam became a UPOV member (before 2006), their total investment in R&D was $13,500 USD. In the period 2006 to 2017 their R&D investment reached $10.5 Million USD, a 778-fold increase (data from the Report of VINA Seed Corporation). 5: Overall economic growthThe growth of the agricultural and hor-ticultural sector contributed to a higher economic prosperity at the national level.WhenlookingattheGross Domestic Product (GDP) across the entire economy, a recent study on threePreparing the DUS Growing Test for Ricecrops: rice, maize and sweet potato (Noleppa, 2017), showed an increase of $3.4 billion USD, which included the- Safe Crop Production in order towhich have a special purpose for people additional agricultural value and theimprove the living standard of the people. have been introduced. In recent years, in additional generated GDP in upstreamThe country is convinced that theseVietnam, many new plant species with and downstream industries in Vietnam.policies will be a success when there isvarieties for medicinal or functional food The successes of plant breeding, follow- participation by the private sector. Thepurposes were introduced and these are ing the countrys UPOV membershipPVP system ensured their property rightsalso contributing to improve the lives of also added another $1.5 billion USD toand secured their investments. the consumer. the GDP value. So, it is safe to say that plant breeding activities and invest- 7. The capacity of the PVP system isFUTURE PLANS OF THE VIETNAM ments have greatly favoured the eco- strengthened by the cooperation andGOVERNMENTnomic environment in the country. Inassistance among UPOV membersVietnams government is fully aware of total, a GDP impact of around $5 billionThe cooperation between members ofthe importance of the development of a USD annually could be calculated. UPOV through various activities, suchPVP system and is planning to build a as exchanging experience and experts;strategy to develop Intellectual Property 6. Contributing to the success ofcooperation on the examination of varie- in Vietnam for the period 20202030. Government Policies ties and more, help Vietnam to increaseAnd PVP will be an important part of As soon as Vietnam became a bigits capacity. It is a challenge to increasethis strategy. The strategy aims to make exporter for agriculture products in thethe number of staff members who work inthe national PVP system become more world, several major policies in the fieldthe PVP system. However, through sucheffective in line with the mission state-of agriculture were implemented by thecooperation within UPOV, the country isment of UPOV: To provide and promote Vietnam government such as: able to offer protection to all plant speciesan effective system of plant variety pro Land consolidation to boost theeffectively. tection, with the aim of encouraging the production of high-quality products; development of new varieties of plants, for - A Food Value Chain approach for8. Diversification of the products for thethe benefit of society.crop production; consumer.- A re-organization of the croppingPVP is encouraging the breeding andEditors Note: Nguyen Thanh Minh is pattern to be more effective as well as toselection of new varieties, and latelyDirector of Plant Variety Protection in mitigate the effects of climate change; many new varieties from other speciesVietnamEUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 19'