Vietnam has been developing a geographical indication system to safeguard the patent rights of the country’s famous traditional products with a hope that the new system will help boost production and trade of the country’s unique produce.

Speaking at an EU seminar on Geographical Indications (GI) on April 22, Vice Director General of the National Office of Intellectual Property Tran Huu Nam said that the country had certified 35 unique GIs.

A GI is a name or symbol on the packaging of a product certifying that it possesses a certain guaranteed quality due to its geographical origin and the traditional methods used in its creation. Products bearing a GI prove particularly attractive to buyers.

Nam estimated that the country has around 1,000 traditional agricultural products and produce with a fine reputation for quality and an association with a particular region, and declared that in the near future they should be assigned GIs.

He said GIs help consumers find authentic products, thus boosting the production and trade of traditional goods. They also play an important role in the development of agriculture, rural areas and the quality of local products.

Famous certified GIs include Phu Quoc fish sauce, Shan Tuyet Moc Chau tea, Buon Ma Thuat coffee, Doan Hung grapefruit and Binh Thuan green dragon fruit.

The Ambassador-head of the EU delegation, Franz Jessen, said that GIs will guarantee the quality of Vietnamese agricultural products in the EU.

Vietnam was among only a few countries to achieve export growth to the EU in the last few years, and this growth will help push the negotiation process for a bilateral trade agreement between the country and the EU, he noted.

Deputy Head of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Trong Binh said that GI development in Vietnam faced many difficulties because consumers knew too little about them and cooperation among sectors was still poor.

He said that the indicators had been mostly used to protect intellectual property, but they should also be seen as an instrument to boost agriculture production.-VNA