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Across China: Agreement on geographical indications promotes China-EU trade

Abstract : Chinese consumers are expected to gain access to genuine European specialties such as Irish whiskey, Bayerisches Bier, Prosciutto di Parma in a more reliable way from next year, thanks to the signing of a China-EU agreement on product origins.

CHANGSHA, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Chinese consumers are expected to gain access to genuine European specialties such as Irish whiskey, Bayerisches Bier, Prosciutto di Parma in a more reliable way from next year, thanks to the signing of a China-EU agreement on product origins.

The bilateral agreement on geographical indications (GI) signed on Sept. 14 is aimed at protecting each side’s 275 varieties of specialties, including wine, tea, agricultural products and food.

GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation embedded to that origin. The agreement is expected to prevent counterfeiting of GI and enable consumers on both sides to buy authentic, high-quality imported products.

“With GI signs, you can buy European products in China without worrying if they are counterfeits,” said Zhou Taoyu from Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province. Zhou graduated from a French university.

The French champagne that Zhou wanted to buy is made in a champagne producing region of France, with specific varieties of grapes and precise methods.

Chinese consumers have a great demand for food and wine produced in Europe. In the first half of 2020, China-EU agricultural trade volume reached 14.39 billion U.S. dollars, up 12.8 percent over the same period last year. In addition, China imported 10.56 billion U.S. dollars worth of agricultural products from the EU in the period, up 27.8 percent year on year, according to the China customs.

According to the agreement, Chinese products also have the right to use the official certification mark of the EU, making it easier for Chinese companies to export products to Europe.

The first 100 Chinese GI products in the agreement come from 27 provinces in China, and they will enter the European market from the beginning of 2021.

Anhua dark tea, one of the Chinese geographical indications, is a specialty product of Anhua County in Hunan Province.

Wang Kai, deputy general manager of Hunan Provincial Baishaxi Tea Industry Co., Ltd., said the unique geographical environment and superb tea-production technology have made Anhua dark tea famous all over the world. In the 20th century, the black tea from the Baishaxi tea factory was sold to Russia, Britain, and Germany.

“The inclusion of Anhua black tea in the agreement is conducive to enhancing its popularity in Europe, allowing more European consumers to understand Chinese tea culture,” Wang said. “The GI agreement provides a strong guarantee in the market of the EU, and with official support, we have greater confidence and motivation to promote the trade.”

Zhu Danpeng, a Chinese food industry analyst, pointed out that the signing of this agreement can promote mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the EU, strengthen intellectual property protection and safeguard the interests of companies from both sides.

More importantly, the agreement can meet the needs of Chinese and European consumers for high-quality products, and enhance global awareness of Chinese brands, Zhu added. Enditem

About Xinhua Silk Road

Xinhua Silk Road (en.imsilkroad.com) is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) portal.China’s silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road website,includes BRI Policy, BRI Trade, BRI Investment, Belt and Road weekly, Know Belt and Road, and the integrated information services for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Source: Across China: Agreement on geographical indications promotes China-EU trade

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