Vietnam has realised that the use or reference of names or marks of product origin (Geographical Indication, GI) is vital to increasing economic value and competitiveness of products, said the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper.

Geographical Indication (GI) is an Intellectual Property. Geographical Indications are names or marks used with products that link them to their origins and the intellects of their long pasts. It is also considerd as an effective marketing tool to increase the competitiveness of products, acting as a measure against unfair competition in the market, added the newspaper.

However, some producers complained that buyers or importers have paid no difference for products with GI or without GI. M any local producers are wondering if they should register GI or not for their products.

Vietnam has many high quality products which are very famous for their origins such as anise from Northern province of Lang Son or Trung Khanh chestnut from Cao Bang province. These GI-registered products were told that their sale volumes had not been increased

Luc Ngan and Thanh Ha litchis are undergoing the same experience with the above mentioned products. The fruits have been granted GI but farmers are still worried about sales when the litchi season comes.

Dao Duc Huan, Deputy Director of the Rural Development Centre (RUDEC) under the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), said that farmers with small-scale production have relied on the distribution system. If the distribution system didn’t label GI on the products, it would be sold in market like other products without GI.

To use GI effectively, it needs a good management system, especially management of quality and point of origin. Huan said Vietnam now has 39 GI registered products, 36 of which are agricultural and food products. The use of GI in the market is very modest. Only few products start to use GI in the market such as Phu Quoc fish sauce, added Huan.

To improve the role of GI in the market, localities should promote their products with quality assurance. Once the product has gained both quality and prestige, its price will be higher and producers will get economic profits.

Moreover, to ensure quality for products granted GI, localities have to manage and maintain the good quality of products and not focus on increasing quantity.

Some GI registered fruits need to be preserved as heritage, maintaining the traditional value rather than economic profits. Yen Tu yellow apricot blossom is an example. The blossom needs to be preserved as a cultural legacy of Quang Ninh province. It is a part of the legend of King Tran Nhan Tong (1225-1258) leaving his throne to become a monk at pagoda complex of Yen Tu mountain. The monk king planted the first yellow apricot blossom trees .-VNA