Today, the European Parliament approved the EU-China agreement on the cooperation and protection of geographical indications* (GIs). This will protect 100 European and Chinese geographical indicators and another 175 from both sides after four years.
Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, S&D MEP and responsible for EU-China trade issues, stated:
“With today’s vote, the European Parliament strengthens the rights of food and drink producers like Vino de Rioja, Mozzarella di Bufala, Languedoc wine or Polska Wodka in the high-growth market of China. This agreement on geographical indications is the first significant bilateral trade deal signed between the EU and China and is based on mutual respect. We take this as an encouraging sign that China is willing to engage with Europe cooperatively and we are moving towards greater reciprocity, non-discrimination and openness of the markets. With its signature, China decided to go for the European system of protecting the quality of products based on their origin. As a next step, we must ensure that the agreement is implemented on the ground and we call on the Commission to closely monitor the registration process of geographical indications.
“Now is the right moment to intensify the negotiations with China on the investment agreement. Our position is clear: A level playing field must be guaranteed and human rights must be fully respected, always.”
Note to the editors
* A geographical indication is a distinctive sign used to identify a product whose quality, reputation or other such characteristics relate to its geographical origin. In the EU, more than 3.300 product names were protected in the EU, its value estimated by the Commission at 75 billion Euros.
This EU-China agreement will provide an important protection of the product’s intellectual property rights. It will safeguard against translation, transcription or transliteration.