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Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka: China and the EU agree to protect each other’s food and drink specialities

EU products with geographical indications such as Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka, or Queso Manchego to be protected against misuse and imitation in China

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  • Attention will now centre on negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement

On Wednesday, Parliament backed an agreement between the EU and China to protect the names of 200 European and Chinese food specialties from counterfeiting.

Parliament consented to an agreement by 645 votes, with 22 against and 18 abstentions, signed in September 2020 between the EU and China to ensure that one hundred European products bearing geographical indications (GIs) – including Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka, or Queso Manchego – will be legally protected in China against imitations and the misuse of a product’s name.

UPDATE: 100 European geographical indications set to be protected in China. EU List of GIs

In exchange, one hundred Chinese products will benefit from the same form of protection in the EU.

MEPs agreed to extend the agreement to a further 175 European and Chinese products within four years.

Confidence building

In a resolution adopted by 633 votes, with 13 against and 39 abstentions, Parliament welcomed the agreement, calling it an “important confidence-building exercise” during the ongoing EU-China negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement.

At the same time, Parliament expresses its concern about the market-distorting practices used by Chinese state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfers, and other unfair trading practices.

Parliament is also deeply concerned by the reported exploitation and detention of Uyghur people in factories in China.

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