Geographical indications facilitate Vietnamese product sales

14:06 | 15/09/2014 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Vietnam has 38 geographical indication protected products, ranked second in ASEAN region, just behind Thailand, according to the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) at the 2014 International Geographical Indication Exhibition held on September 9 in Hanoi.

The 2014 International Geographical Indication Exhibition showcases many Vietnamese agricultural products

The event was coordinated by the NOIP and the EU-ASEAN Project on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (ECAP III Project), with the intention to raise public awareness about geographical indication as a type of intellectual property, as well as enhance the image and value of local and regional products bearing geographical indications. This is one of the activities to implement geographical indication protection initiatives under the ASEAN Intellectual Property Protection Action Plan during the 2011- 2015 Period coordinated by Vietnam and Thailand.

This exhibition showcased 70 booths introducing geographical indication protected specialties such as Phu Quoc fish sauce, Phuc Trach grapefruit, Tan Cuong tea from Vietnam, natural algae from Myanmar, coffee from Lao, pepper and palm oil from Cambodia, silk from Malaysia, and frozen lamb from Brunei.

According to Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung, geographical indication is a sign used to indicate a product’s reputation, specific quality or local characteristic differences; have been developed by many countries around the world not only as evidence for origin and quality of products, but also an effective tool to improve competitiveness of products. Currently, there are more than 10,000 globally protected geographical indications, with an annual trade value estimated at US$50 billion. “Geographical indication is growing rapidly, becoming an important tool for trade, rural development, preservation of traditional know-how, value chain development, product promotion and tourism development,” Tran Van Tung emphasized.

According to the NOIP, being a country with long term developed agriculture; Vietnam has many products with high quality, reputation, specific characteristics and high economic value associated with particular locations.

Director of the Thai Nguyen based Tan Cuong Phuc Linh Tea Cooperative Nguyen Hong Phuc said “Since the Tan Cuong Tea logo attached to its tea products, the cooperative has recorded increased sales. Currently, it has employed 40 workers involved in the production of tea by the VietGap process. In August alone, the cooperative has sold more than 10 tonnes of tea to domestic and foreign consumers.”

Particularly, the majority of Vietnamese products are nationally protected in terms of geographical indication. So, the NOIP aims to promote coordination with local agencies of intellectual property management and foreign counselors on foreign science and technology in providing geographical indication professional services and necessary legal basis for geographical indication protection in the coming time. The NOIP will focus on supporting three Vietnamese products including Shan Tuyet Moc Chau tea, Tam Xoan Hai Hau rice, and Van Yen cinnamon in terms of geographical indication protection registration abroad./.

By Quynh Nga