In presence of the French ambassador and key UAE officials, H.E. Mohamed Omar Abdulla, undersecretary of the department of economic development in Abu Dhabi, inaugurated the anti commercial counterfeiting exhibition, at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, held under the auspices of H.E. Ahmed Nasser Al Sowaidi, chairman of the department of economic development in Abu Dhabi, and in collaboration with the ministry of economy, the ministry of health and 15 companies from the private sector representing local and international brands.H.E. Mohamed Omar Abdulla praised the collaboration and cooperation with the ministry of economy and other entities in order to put a set of mechanisms and restrictions related to combating commercial counterfeiting and put an end to the malpractice of establishments which trade counterfeited and fake products according to the federal law on this crime.H.E. said that the exhibition held yearly by the department goes in line with Abu Dhabi Government strategy to unify the efforts of all concerned entities in order to combat commercial counterfeiting and piracy in all of their forms, as well as reinforcing IPR at the local and federal levels.He explains that the department, through holding similar events, to protect the consumers and brand owners, as well as protecting the rights and interests of those working for these companies, stressing on the direct risks on consumers using counterfeited products and the big financial losses which target brand rights owners, confirming the department’s aim to create a business friendly environment to all investors in Abu Dhabi.Participating at the inauguration of the exhibition, H.E. Alain Azouaou, the French Ambassador to UAE, said that: “Counterfeiting is a social and economic scourge”.He added: “The protection of Intellectual property Rights is key to the promotion of research, innovation and job creation”.Mr. Azouaou revealed that “Counterfeiting is now found in all sectors: toys, textiles, drugs, household appliances, automotive spare parts, cigarettes, perfumes, software and digital products, to name but a few” and that his country developed a comprehensive set of laws and best practices to fight counterfeit and piracy, as “France is particularly at risk due to its famous brand names and the creativity of its artistic firms and craftsmanship. Counterfeiting costs the country a lot. Half of all French businesses report that they are victims of this crime.” H.E. the ambassador said that “a number of cooperation agreements have been signed between our two countries or institutions of our two countries, more particularly in the area of IPR protection. In order to carry out this cooperation, a Customs Attaché and an IPR Attaché joined our Embassy over the past two years”.He praised the developments taking place in the UAE such as the amendments to the existing IPR laws, and the setting up of a specialized judiciary entity in Abou Dhabi, noting “a growing efficiency”, and described today’s exhibition as “a perfect example which reflects a view that we share: IPR protection is not only a matter of legal enforcement, but also of awareness raising”.He concluded by saying that: “today’s Exhibition illustrates the much needed cooperation between the administration and the rights holders. Fighting counterfeit and piracy can be achieved only through cooperation – at all levels” .Speaking about confiscated items, the director of commercial protection at the department of economic development in abu dhabi, Mr. Mouhamad Rashed Rumeithy revealed that the department confiscated 39335 fake products until the end of November ranging from building materials to car spare parts, electrical appliances, mobile phones, electronics, food products, cosmetics, textiles, shoes and accessories.He explained that the exhibition gathers more than 500 original and fake items in order to raise awareness among consumers about the difference, and that a number of experts will be at the exhibition booth until 18 December to educate consumers about the best way to differentiate genuine products from counterfeited ones.The exhibition will conclude in Marina mall on December the 18th, but it will reopen in Bawadi Mall in Al Ain from 21st to 25th, then at city mall of zayed city in the western region from 23 to 25 December.