Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 22:25:31 -0500
From: Catherine Coumans <>
Subject: apec-L: Brave New World
To: <>
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Precedence: bulk

Bill Gates to visit Manila

By Ruben B. Cal, PNA, 22 November 1997

SEATTLE, Washington , Nov. 22 (PNA)—Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), today announced his plan to visit the Philippines next year.

Gates made the announcement following his meeting with President Ramos at the multibillion-dollar Microsoft complex at Redmond, Washington this afternoon.

I'm looking forward to my first visit to the Philippines next year, Gates said. He said his visit to Manila will be dedicated to the young Filipino people who will be given the opportunity to appreciate more on information technology (IT).

Gates, a super multibillionaire who is considered the richest man in the world, said that his company will work with local companies and the Philippine government on IT promotion.

He lauded the President for his priority on education and building telecommunications infrastructure for the Philippines. This will enable the Philippines to progress.

At the same time, Gates announced that his company has granted the Philippines a license to produce selected Microsoft software products.

The grant signifies that the Philippine government has substantially complied with international and local laws protecting intellectual property rights.

It also provides the government with the public platform to advocate and enforce intellectual property rights (IPR) laws in the Philippines.

Gates presented to the President the grant certificates.

Initial estimates from the government place the value of the certificate at between US$600,000 and US$1 million.

The President brought with him over 100 Filipino businessmen during his meeting with Gates.

During the visit, Microsoft and the Philippines signed four memorandums of understanding (MOU), outlining the areas of cooperation between the two parties.

These areas are the Philippine National Information Technology Plan (PNITP), the formation of an electronic commerce council, development of online learning communities, and the institutionalization of a software management and review plan for the government.

Last June, the President signed into law Republic Act 8293, or the new Intellectual Property Code that increased fines and penalties for infringement in software copyright. The law will take effect in January 1998.

The implementation of the law will be undertaken by an Intellectual Property Office the government will form. (PNA) SCS/RBC