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China sets patent filing record: UN
by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Nov 23, 2016

China defends Asia-Pacific trade after Trump threat
Santiago (AFP) Nov 23, 2016 - China's President Xi Jinping vowed to strengthen world trade in the face of US President-elect Donald Trump's threat to pull out of a key trans-Pacific accord.

Speaking on a visit to Chile on Tuesday, he vowed to "push to build an Asia-Pacific free-trade zone and an open world economy."

Trump on Monday vowed to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact on his first day in the White House.

On the last stop of a tour to strengthen trade ties in Latin America, Xi said he and Chile's President Michelle Bachelet agreed to join in a "full strategic relationship."

They expanded their countries' existing free trade agreement and signed 12 cooperation agreements.

"To drive the long-term development of bilateral ties, we have decided to enhance our bilateral relations to a strategic relationship and open a new page in ties between Chine and Chile," Xi told a news conference.

Chile is the world's biggest copper producer and the second-largest producer of salmon.

China is its biggest trade partner, receiving a quarter of all Chilean exports last year.

Xi also signed 18 new agreements with Peru on Monday.

China has become the first country to file more than a million patent applications in a year, leading a global innovation surge that has defied sluggish economic growth, the UN said Wednesday.

"The figures for China are quite extraordinary," said Francis Gurry, head of the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) while launching the body's annual report.

China registered 1.1 million patents in 2015, more than the top three runners-up combined, WIPO said, referring to the United States (578,000 applications), Japan (325,000) and South Korea (214,000).

Chief WIPO economist Carsten Fink linked the Asian giant's performance to "the laws of compound growth", where a massive nation with sustained economic expansion has seen a dramatic rise in innovation.

Globally, patent applications hit 2.9 million in 2015, a near-8 percent rise on 2014 figures, the report said.

By sector, computer technology led the way with 7.9 percent of total applications, followed by electrical machinery (7.3 percent) and digital communication (4.9 percent).

Gurry said there were dangers in trying to draw broad conclusions about the global economy based strictly on intellectual property trends, but noted that innovation has in recent years proven more robust that general economic growth.

"What is striking is that you have a performance in respect of intellectual property that is not similar to the general outlook for the global economy," the WIPO chief told reporters.

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