Italy industry groups welcome EU-China GI trade agreement

Date: 27 Jul 2020

The bilateral agreement between the European Union (EU) and China on geographical indications (GI) will help Italy emerge from the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Italian trade and agricultural associations.

"It's an important result for Italy," said David Pontello, a regional coordinator with Confagricoltura, a leading agricultural group, expressing hope that the agreement will help the Italian export market to stabilize the prices.

A spokesman for Coldiretti, the Italian agricultural association, said the deal was a "recognition of the value of Italian" food and drinks. Assolatte, a dairy industry association and Federalimentare, a food industry group, also made similar supportive statements this week.

The GI agreement, signed in November last year by EU Trade Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and Zhong Shan, China's minister of commerce, is the first major bilateral trade agreement that will protect each side's 100 geographical indications, including 26 Italian products.

There are various types of Italian dairy, alcohol and meat products on the agreement, including different cheese, wine, grappa and cured meats.

The Council of the EU on Monday adopted decisions on the signature of the agreement, while the date and place for the signature of the agreement has not been set yet. Once signed, the agreement will then need to receive the consent of the European Parliament before it can be concluded and enter into force, according to a Council statement.

The deal will expand to cover an additional 175 GI names from both sides four years after its entry into force. It also includes a mechanism to add more geographical indications thereafter, the statement said. 

Source: The China Internet Information Center

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