China-EU GIs deal shows both sides' commitment to free, open trade: FM
Published: Mar 01, 2021 04:56 PM
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry

The implementation of the China-EU landmark geographical indications (GIs) agreement fully demonstrates the two sides' commitment to free and open trade as well as support for the multilateral trade system based on rules, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a press briefing on Monday.

He said that it will inject new momentum into China-EU trade cooperation, while boosting the comprehensive strategic partnership.

"We hope the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment could be signed and take effect as early as possible to benefit Chinese and EU enterprises and people," Wang said.

China is willing to continue to work with the EU to maintain a multilateral trade system based on rules, and to build an open world economy to contribute to the recovery and development of China, the EU and the world, Wang said.

The China-EU GI agreement that took effect on Monday includes the first batch of 100 European GIs in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU against usurpation and imitation.

Under the agreement, the Chinese GI products protected in the EU include Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian bean paste), Anxi Tie Guan Yin (Anxi oolong tea) and Wu Liang Ye (Wuliangye liquor), while the EU list protected in China includes Cava (a wine from Spain), Champagne (a wine from France) and Munchener Bier (a beer from Germany).

For companies whose products are included in the GI list, the agreement will save them significant costs as they don't have to go to the EU to apply for protection, and the GI products are not only protected by laws but also a bilateral mechanism under the GI agreement, domestic news portal reported, citing data from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Signed on September 14, 2020, the China-EU GI agreement is the first comprehensive and high-level bilateral treaty China has signed with a foreign country. 

Apart from the GIs already listed, the agreement will continue to expand in the coming four years, to cover additional 175 GI names from both sides.