Background and process
A GI is a distinctive sign used on products that have a specific geographic origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. The EU-China agreement will therefore provide an important protection of the products' intellectual property rights: it will safeguard against translation, transcription or transliteration, and against the use of the protected geographical indications accompanied by expressions such as "kind", "type", "style", "imitation" or the like in respect of a non-originating product.
GIs have also proven to be a useful marketing tool, helping to ensure higher and more stable export revenues for producers: according to a study commissioned by the Commission in 2013, a geographical indication product sells on average for more than twice the price of a similar non-geographical indication product. Moreover, China is a high-growth potential market for European food and drinks. This agreement will therefore benefit European producers and should be a boost to rural areas where these products are made.