Japan, Vietnam sign geographical indications agreement

11:02 | 30/06/2017 Science - Technology

(VEN) - The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan and the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the geographical indications protection system. The agreement is expected to provide more opportunities for the two business communities to promote branding.

Protected fruit

According to a report by the National Office of Intellectual Property, Vietnam had registered protection of geographical indications for 55 specialties by May 31, 2017, including 49 Vietnamese and six foreign products. However, Vietnam has no products that are protected in Japan. Among 49 Vietnamese geographical indication protected products, 22 are fruits exported to the Japanese market, such as Cat Hoa Loc mango, Binh Thuan dragon fruit, Lo Ren star apple and Bac Giang litchi.

Japan is a potential export market of Vietnam’s agricultural products thanks to the signing of the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which has resulted in a sharp tariff reduction on agricultural exports to Japan; the preference for tropical agricultural products; and increasing demand for agricultural imports.

With such opportunities, cooperation with Japan contributes to strengthening protection of geographical indications for specialties, such as fruits and seafood, thereby creating favorable conditions for Vietnamese business to promote branding and develop distribution channels in the Japanese market.

Promoting cooperation

The memorandum of understanding on cooperation in geographical indications protection focuses on promoting protection of geographical indications in both countries in accordance with their laws and regulations. The two sides will implement a pilot project to select a number of geographic indications of each country to be registered for protection and will develop an electronic database of geographical indications protected in each country. They will also conduct meetings to exchange information and share experience about protection of geographical indications.

In addition, Vietnam and Japan will cooperate on programs to enhance education and public awareness of geographical indications, such as organizing exhibitions to promote the protected products of each country.

Koji Inoue, general director of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Food Industry Affairs Bureau,

said cooperation between Vietnam and Japan in protection on geographical indications will promote exports of Japan’s

geographical indication protected products to Vietnamese consumers and vice versa. This also contributes to strengthening

trade and production activities in regions having geographical indication protected specialties.

Phuong Tam