Pakistan to Push for GI Registration of 10 Products in Europe

The Ministry of Commerce has approved a list of ten products for Geographical Indication (GI) registration in response to India’s attempt to label Basmati rice as an exclusively Indian brand in the European Union market.

These include agro and non-agro products that will become Pakistan’s brands in the international market. The process of GI registration has also started after the cabinet’s approval a month ago.

GI is similar to intellectual property rights (IPRs) in a way that when it is assigned to a product originating from a particular country, it brings with it the signature quality and reputation attributable to the place of origin, Commerce Division had explained this to the cabinet in April 2021.

These products that have been approved by the Ministry of Commerce for GI registration in the first phase include Chaunsa Mango, Sindhri Mango, Kinnow, Hunza Ruby, Swat Emerald, Kashmir Tourmaline, Skardu Topaz, Skardu Aquamarine, Peridot Stone, and Peridot Valley, Express Tribune reported on Friday.

GI will serve as a potential economic tool to promote and enhance national and international trade by attracting global demand and premium prices for Pakistan’s products.

Pakistan had already enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act 2020 last year, in March 2020. This was done to ensure the registration and protection of Pakistan’s products, after which the GI registration of the country’s products also began.

Basmati rice is one of those products, and it was registered on January 21, 2021. The process for GI protection registration for Pink Rock Salt was also started on February 22, 2021.

The commerce ministry has tasked the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Pakistan Minerals Development Corporation (PMDC) with registering the ten products in concern.