BRUSSELS – Janusz Wojciechowski, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, has spoken highly of the milestone achievement and promising future of the agricultural cooperation mechanism between the European Union (EU) and China.

“I believe that our Geographical Indications (GIs) Agreement is defined by success,” Wojciechowski said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, calling it a “milestone in EU-China cooperation” as it is so far the first and only significant bilateral trade agreement in force between the two sides.

China and the EU inked the GIs agreement in late 2020, aiming to enhance bilateral trade of agri-food products and provide better protection for these products. This year marks the third anniversary of its implementation.

The initial GI list, effective since 2021, protects 100 Chinese agricultural GIs in the EU and 96 EU agricultural GIs in China.

Wojciechowski revealed that the agreement’s scope will expand to include an additional 175 GIs from both sides as of March 1, 2025, demonstrating the ambition of both the EU and China regarding GIs.

In April this year, Wojciechowski led a delegation of 75 European business leaders representing EU agri-food companies and organizations from all over Europe to China, meeting with Chinese government officials to discuss agricultural collaboration, including the GI agreement.

“It is the largest delegation I have taken with me during my time as commissioner, representing the strong interest of EU agri-food businesses in the Chinese market,” he said.

He noted that the visit yielded fruitful results, and praised the GIs agreement as a win-win approach that not only fosters agricultural cooperation but also enhances tourism and cultural heritage protection.

Last year, the total agri-food trade exchange value between the EU and China was close to 23 billion euros (about 25 billion U.S. dollars), according to Wojciechowski. These robust agricultural trade ties have bred business opportunities for GI producers.

He encouraged stakeholders to leverage events, conferences, and exhibitions organized in both China and the EU to showcase the merits of their food and drinks, build new contacts, and identify further areas of connection.

“In a broader sense, GIs contribute to enhancing EU-China relations, by bringing us closer through our mutual love for food,” said the Commissioner. “I know that a lot of Chinese citizens enjoy EU GIs products and I know that a lot of EU citizens are eager to discover more Chinese GIs.”

“For us, we are just at the beginning of a deeper long-term cooperation,” he added.




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