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On 10 September 2010, the Council approved the opening of negotiations for a PGI agreement with China. A GI is a distinctive feature for products with a specific geographical origin and with qualities or reputation due to that origin. The EU-China agreement will therefore offer significant protection of the intellectual property rights of products: it protects against translation, transcription or transliteration and against the use of protected geographical indications that are accompanied by expressions such as `species`, `type`, `style`, `imitation` or any other non-original product. On Monday, China and the EU signed the Green Infrastructure Agreement. But what exactly does this mean and how will it benefit both parties if they move forward? The agreement will protect 100 European GIs and as many Chinese GIs in the EU from usurpation and counterfeiting. After the signing of the agreement and the approval of the European Parliament, it will be officially adopted by the Council. The agreement is expected to enter into force in early 2021. Within four years of its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will extend to an additional 175 BILLION on both sides. These names must follow the same approval procedure as the 100 names already covered by the agreement (assessment and publication of notices).

China and the EU signed the Green Infrastructure Agreement on Monday that could boost trade in products between the two countries. / Getty Creative Four years after it came into force, the scope of the agreement will extend to 175 other IG denominations of both parties. The agreement also provides for a mechanism to add more geographical indications. The agreement is expected to enter into force in 2021. Four years later, about 175 other GIs from both parties will be included in the agreement. The European Commission has just announced that the EU and China have signed a bilateral agreement on the protection of geographical indications against usurpation and counterfeiting. The agreement, first concluded in November 2019 and approved by the Council in July 2020, will protect 100 European gegis in China and 100 Chinese gegis in the EU. « I am proud that this agreement is moving closer to its entry into force and reflects our commitment to work closely with our global trading partners such as China, » said Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Geographical indications have also proven to be a useful marketing tool that helps to guarantee producers higher and more stable export earnings: according to a study commissioned by the Commission in 2013, a product with a geographical indication sells on average more than double the price of a similar non-geographical indication product. In addition, China is a fast-growing market for food and beverage products in Europe.