Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Morocco and the European Union agree on Geographical Indications

Swiftly following yesterday’s post, on a historic IP development on the African continent (as expected), this hibernating Leo adds that Morocco and the European Union have reached agreement on Geographical Indications (GIs). Delighted representatives from both sides said:

Image result for european union"This agreement gives relations between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco a new impetus. It reinforces our partnership, aiming at promoting and protecting quality products, benefiting farmers and industries in both Morocco and the EU. Agriculture constitutes an important chapter of our bilateral cooperation, notably in the 2013-2017 Action Plan, which constitutes the roadmap of our cooperation for the years to come. Cooperation in the field of geographical indications is part of our mutual commitment for a quality agriculture that preserves local products", said EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan 

Image result for morocco
According to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, “the EU and Morocco are very close trading partners. The negotiations concluded today will be an incentive for even more trade and investment. The protection of Geographical Indications is a win-win – it will make it clear to consumers where products come from, so that they can make an informed choice. It will also increase the quality of products and bring additional revenue to farmers. Furthermore, today’s deal is an encouragement for both the EU and Morocco to continue our negotiations towards a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.”

"This agreement provides a real opportunity for our growers and especially the smaller ones who have real authentic know-how to maximize the added value of their production" declared Moroccan Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch."

GIs can bring considerable economic benefit to a country if the necessary system(s) can be set up, easily, and managed properly. A number of African countries, eg Uganda (with a little nudge), are now taking GIs seriously. Afro Leo, a geography/trade expert, believes he can make sense of these deals having considered that North Africa (particularly Morocco) is in close proximity to Southern Europe (especially Spain and Portugal). This Leo, however, is cautiously optimistic about the ‘win-win’.  

Previous related Afro-IP posts on the EPO and EU:
  • South Africa, EU and the GIs are here
  • The U.S. isn’t happy with South Africa-EU GIs plan here
  • Sadly, our IP-friendly Morocco doesn’t yet have an IP policy here
  • OAPI and the EPO tie the knot here

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