The Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Science and Technology (MoST) have signed a coordination agreement on construction and management of geographical indication (GI).
Workers check fish sauce containers at the Hồng Đại Company, Duong Dong township, Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province. Vietnam has a total 68 GI-registered products, of which 62 are national and six are foreign GI products. (Source: VNA)
The coordination is important as it lays the foundations for the three ministries to coordinate and improve State management, enhance efficiency in GI, as well as increase value of protected products and competitiveness of Vietnamese products in the world market, leaders of the three ministries said.
According to Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac, ending July 2018, Vietnam has a total of 68 GI-registered products, of which 62 are national and six are foreign GI products. GI-registered products have expanded from fresh foods such as fruits, seafood, rice, to processed products such as fish sauce, shrimp sauce and handicraft merchandise such as Hue conical hats, Nga Son sedge mat and Cao Bang tortoise-shell bamboo.
GI is a name or symbol used on products which have a specific geographical location or origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are related to that origin.
GI is increasingly proving its importance in agricultural and rural development, contributing to the preservation of traditional cultural values, development of production activities and trade, as well as improving the added value of Vietnamese agricultural products, Tac said.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam also emphasised the importance of GI protection, saying GI labelling will benefit consumers as the products will be ensured in terms of origin, quality and trust.
At present, producers, including farmers and cooperatives, are aware of the necessity of GI registration as they understand that GI-registered products will have much higher value, Nam said.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said many localities, enterprises and trade associations do not have full awareness of importance of trademark, GI registration and intellectual property rights (IP).
He recalled the loss of Buon Ma Thuot coffee in China’s market due to no GI registration.
In the past, the State and local authorities have developed and put into practice programmes and solutions to support GI registration such as support programmes for IP development and brand development for local specialties.
In the future, the three ministries will coordinate to develop a legal framework for GI registration and protection, implement GI law and policy, and collaborate to detect, prevent and handle GI infringements. An advisory council will be established to advise ministers on building and managing GI law.
The coordination between the three ministries will promote the expertise, human and financial resources of each ministry and at the same time create synergy in the law construction and management, the ministries said.