Geographical indications – Opening the door for Vietnamese products

by VTV405 September 2015 Last updated at 12:00 PM

VTV.vn - 39 types of farm produce and foods will be granted geographical indications when the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.

While Halong squid paste was given geographical indication nearly 2 years ago, but only 16 of 23 registered squid paste businesses have met the authority’s quality standards. This is a challenge for Vietnamese producers who want trade with the EU.

Dang Manh Hiep, Vice Chairman, Ha Long Squid Paste Association said: "The EU is a major market with huge potential, but there’s still a long way to go before we really penetrate this market. Ha Long squid paste was granted geographical indication, but we have to try even more to meet the EU’s standards, in terms of facilities,  materials and so on."

This specialty from Ha Long Bay is much tastier when it is made by hand. This consists of a complicated procedure, from collecting ingredients to grinding squid into paste. Without mastering every step in this process, the product’s brand reputation won’t be maintained. This also limits the export capacity for local producers.

Luu Duc Thanh, Head, Geographical Indication Dept., National Office of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Science and Technology said: There hasn’t been sufficient collaboration among producers and suppliers. This is a major problem for us in penetrating the EU market. Nevertheless, some other industries are ready for exporting such as rice, coffee and tea.

Geographical indication is only the first step for Vietnamese brands to be built in the EU. More also needs to be done to find appropriate markets and ways to relate to European consumers.

Ha Long squid paste, Moc Chau tea, Doan Hung pomelo, Binh Thuan dragon fruit are among 39 products with geographical indication when the EVFTA comes into effect. With efforts to organise supply chains and product quality, Vietnamese brands will hopefully become more popular in the EU.


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