Govt to enact a new Geographical Indication Law to bring distinction to indigenous Pakistani products: Khurram Dastagir

Islamabad, June 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan has said that the Ministry will enact a new Geographical Indication Law to bring distinction to indigenous Pakistani products. Geographical Indication law and the registration of products at domestic and international level will give international recognition to the Pakistani products which have some unique attributes associated with them.

Geographical Indications are place names (in some countries also words associated with a place) used to identify the origin and quality, reputation or other characteristics of products. Geographical Indication is a concept of international trade which associates a certain product to a specific location thus identifying its originality and uniqueness. Such an indication to any product distinguishes it from the rest of same kind thus bringing premium to its price.

Pakistan possesses several such products which have distinctive attributes through which they can make a niche in the international market once they are certified as Geographical Indications. Hunza apricot, Peshawari chappal, basmati rice, Sindhi ajrak, Chaunsa mango etc are among the many products which Pakistan can register domestically as Geographical Indications once the law is enacted which can further be registered internationally. Such a certification attaches premium to the products which otherwise were exported under the same HS Code as the other varieties of that product.

Minister for Commerce has directed the officials of Ministry of Commerce to initiate coordination with the relevant stake holders immediately which include Intellectual Property Organization Pakistan, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, relevant provincial departments and private sector.

Some spade work was done on the Geographical Indications Law by the previous governments during the last decade but it was not brought to its logical conclusion and the law never saw day light. Mr. Dastagir said that Geographical Indication Law is the need of the hour and will enhance visibility of several Pakistani export items in the international market.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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