The agreement on geographical indications between China and Europe, which took eight years to negotiate, officially entered into force on the 1st. European people from all walks of life believe that this agreement will better protect a series of well-known brands in China and Europe, and has far-reaching significance in promoting China-EU economic and trade cooperation and economic development.
Image from: Xinhua News Agency
Well-known brands are protected
Geographical indication is a sign to identify the origin of a product from a certain region, and is also an important type of intellectual property. After the agreement came into effect, there are more than 500 geographical indications mutually recognized by China and Europe, involving not only wine, tea, agricultural products and food, but also Xuan paper and Shu brocade, which represent traditional Chinese culture.
The agreement will enable Europe and China to implement better protection for all types of geographical indication products, said Fan Champlain, president of the French Champagne Industry Council. He said that China is increasingly aware of the value of geographical indications and Chinese consumers increasingly value authentic products that are guaranteed.
This agreement demonstrates once again the desire of the EU and China to work closely together," said Rodolphe Laméth, CEO of the International Wine and Spirits Fair in France. The protection of EU GI products, known for their quality and diversity, will help ensure their authority and reputation and meet the needs of Chinese consumers.
Salus Alvarez, chairman of Priorato Winery, a well-known brand of Spanish origin, told reporters that the protection of well-known brands by this agreement is the protection of quality. In a globalized world, it is vital to protect products of origin.
Bilateral trade deepens again
In 2020, the trade volume between China and Europe will reach 649.5 billion USD, and China will become the EU's top trading partner for the first time. The implementation of the China-EU GI agreement will give new impetus to the healthy development of China-EU trade.
The EU Delegation to China issued a statement on the 1st that the agreement will promote mutually beneficial trade between the two sides. Currently, China is the second largest export destination for EU GI products, and is a high growth potential export market for the European food and beverage industry.
According to statistics, the annual export value of EU GI products exceeds $20 billion, accounting for more than 15% of total EU food and beverage exports. Currently, there are about 1600 non-EU GIs protected within the EU.
Livio Mazzanti, China business manager of Maze Winery in Italy, said that the entry into force of the China-Europe Geographical Indication Agreement is good news for his wine industry and for many Chinese agricultural products that Italians love. It will facilitate the promotion of well-known European products in the Chinese market and will make it easier for Europeans to buy authentic Chinese goods, promoting trade and cultural exchanges between the two sides.
Alvarez said that the Spanish Priolato brand sells about 10 percent of its products to China, and this percentage is expected to increase to 25 percent in the future.
Vukasz Kalmowski, president of the Polish Spirits Association, said that the entry into force of the China-Europe Geographical Indication Agreement provides great business opportunities for Polish vodka distilleries and could be an important opportunity to revitalize Polish vodka.