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Landmark Agreement to Protect 100 European Geographical Indications in China

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Landmark Agreement to Protect 100 European Geographical Indications in China

Landmark Agreement to Protect 100 European Geographical Indications in China
November 08
10:00 2019

The EU and China have concluded the negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GI) in China and 100 Chinese GI in the EU. Delivering on the commitment made at the last EU-China Summit in April 2019, this landmark agreement is a concrete example of mutually beneficial trade co-operation between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China, reflecting the openness and adherence of both sides to international rules as a basis for trade relations.

Currently, China is the second destination of EU exports of products protected as Geographical Indications, accounting for 9% of its value, including wines, agri-food products and spirit drinks. The EU list of GI to be protected in China includes products such as Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego.

Agriculture and Rura Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “European Geographical Indication products are renowned across the world for their quality. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while further rewarding farmers. This agreement shows our commitment to working closely with our global trading partners such as China. It is a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefiting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers on both sides.”

The Irish Whiskey Association has welcomed the new EU-China agreement on protection of geographical indications. From now on only Irish whiskey distilled and matured on the island of Ireland can be labelled and sold in China as Irish whiskey. It also provides a legal recourse to take action against fake Irish whiskey on sale in China.

William Lavelle, head of the Irish Whiskey Association, said: “Irish whiskey sales in China have historically been low, but the category recorded 50% growth in 2018. Chinese consumers are increasingly looking for authenticity. This agreement protects and promotes authenticity and will grow sales.

“The protection provided in this agreement will further give Irish whiskey producers the confidence to invest in increased sales and marketing in China, knowing that there is legal remedy to crack down on fake competitors.”


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