A few days ago, on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, the EU and China concluded the negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (PDO, PGI and GI products, in general) in China and 100 Chinese GI products in the EU against imitations and usurpation. This landmark agreement is expected to result in reciprocal trade benefits and demand for high-quality products on both sides.
Following the signing of the trade deal, for the first time, Greek products have been granted protection as a geographical indication in China. The list of Greek products protected in China include: Feta cheese, ouzo, Kalamata olives, Samos wines, Chios mastiha, as well as olive oil from Sitia, Crete.
Four years after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover an additional 175 Geographical Indications from both sides. These products will have to follow the same registration procedure than the 100 already covered by the agreement (i.e assessment and publication for comments). The EU-China cooperation on Geographical Indications began over 10 years ago (2006) resulting in the registration and protection of 10 Geographical Indication names on both sides in 2012, the starting block for today’s cooperation.
Delivering on the commitment made at the last EU-China Summit in April 2019, this agreement is a concrete example of cooperation 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.
The European Union and China are two of the biggest traders in the world. China is now the EU’s second-biggest trading partner behind the United States and the EU is China’s biggest trading partner. Namely:
- China is the EU’s biggest source of imports and its second-biggest export market. China and Europe trade on average over €1 billion a day
- EU’s main imports from China are industrial and consumer goods, machinery and equipment, and footwear and clothing
- EU main exports to China are: machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, aircraft, and chemicals
- EU-China trade in services amounts to more than 10% of total trade in goods, and the EU’s exports of services make up 19% of EU’s total exports of goods.
Photo Credit: Delegation of the European Union to China