SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR) signed a profit-sharing agreement today with Hansolbio Co. and the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at the InterContinental Seoul COEX.
The agreement will serve as a first case of profit sharing, where companies, using foreign biological resources they have discovered with government support, can develop and sell commercial products, with profits to be shared with the government.
Based on the agreement, Hansolbio will develop and sell cosmetics using Cambodia’s dipterocarpus intricatus, a plant species known to be effective against wrinkles, and with skin-lightening features.
All profits arising from sales will be shared with Cambodia.
Dipterocarpus intricatus was first discovered by the NIBR in the primeval forest in Cambodia in December 2015.
Since then, the institute has been supporting Hansolbio to develop cosmetics with the plant. The final product was fully commercialized last December.
“The agreement is the first of its kind where a South Korean research institute and manufacturer discovered and industrialized a foreign plant species, and will share profits with the country of origin,” said the institute.
Ever since the Nagoya Protocol was passed in 2014 listing the guidelines on profit sharing when utilizing biological resources, South Korean companies have become increasingly passive in developing new products with foreign biological resources due to complex procedures and processes set out in legislation in foreign countries that hold biological resources.
As such, the Ministry of Environment has been in charge of processing all complex procedures to discover new biological resources and introduce them to South Korean companies.
“The ministry has invested a significant amount of time and effort to realize our very first profit-sharing agreement,” said Park Chun-kyoo, the Vice Minister of Environment.
“We will continue to support bio firms in South Korea to gain easier access to various foreign biological resources and use them to contribute to the South Korean economy.”
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)