HA NOI — About 150 local products from various provinces of Viet Nam are being considered for the geographical indication (GI) protection scheme over the next ten years, according to a seminar on GI opened in Ha Noi yesterday.
The seminar, titled “Geographical Indications: A land of opportunities”, was aimed at providing an overview of the current GI systems in Europe and in Viet Nam.
“GI is an intellectual property right long championed by the EU, and has become an important instrument to valorise the quality and reputation of local products,” said Markus Cornaro, ambassador and head of the EC Delegation to Viet Nam, at the seminar.
“And an adequate protection in both law and practice of GIs will be highly beneficial to Vietnamese businesses whose products have become popular in the world market,” he said.
According to Tran Viet Hung, deputy director general of Viet Nam’s National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP), Viet Nam is currently finalising its national intellectual law and emphasises the valorisation of national products through the protection of GI.
After Phu Quoc fish sauce and Moc Chau green tea of Viet Nam, which already get GI recognition, other local products such as fragrant rice (gao tam) of Hai Hau and anise (hoi) of Lang Son are scheduled to get GI recognition starting next year, Hung said.
According to the EC Delegation to Viet Nam, GI products account for billions of euro in trade and exports including famed products such as Parma Ham (Italy), Champagne (France), Antigua coffee (Guatemala) and Habatos tobacco (Cuba).
The two-day seminar, co-organised by the EC-ASEAN Intellectual Property rights Co-operation Programme (ECAPII) and NOIP, includes presentations on GI systems from experts from Europe and ASEAN countries using case studies of their countries.
Viet Nam represents the largest national component of ECAP II with a dedicated budget of VND31.4 billion (1.5 million euros) to support the implementation of more than 50 planned activities in the field of Intellectual Property rights (IPR), according to ECAP II.
The programme aims to support Viet Nam in complying with international IPR standards, to protect and foster Vietnamese innovation, creativity and products.
Based in Thailand, ECAPII is an EC-supported initiative with total funds of 9 million euros and national intellectual property offices in ASEAN countries, including Viet Nam