By Nick Theodoulou
Negotiations on a trade agreement between the EU and China were finalised on Wednesday which grants Cyprus’ ouzo and zivania protected status.
Cyprus is the ‘alpha and omega’ of the list, with zivania leading the inauguration at number one and Cyprus and Greece’s ouzo concluding the list at 100.
The list of 100 items includes other well-known EU goods such as Scotch whisky, roquefort, champagne and feta.
The reciprocal deal protects 100 European Geographical Indications (GI) in China and vice versa. The agreement, if passed in the EU parliament and by the European Council, would protect ouzo and zivania from imitations fraud. It is expected to come into force before the end of 2020.
“European Geographical Indication products are renowned across the world for their quality,” said the EU’s agriculture and rural development commissioner, Phil Hogan. “Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while further rewarding farmers.”
A booming middle-class in China with a taste for iconic European goods makes it a substantial and growing market for EU agri-food exports said a report from the European Commission. The trade of such goods reached €12.8bn in the 12-month period between September 2018 and August 2019.
China is also the second largest destination of EU exports of products protected as GI. This accounts for 9 per cent of its value, including wines, agri-food products and spirit drinks.
This is also reflected in the increasing amounts of Chinese tourists to European countries, enjoying the rich history of the continent.
The agreement will also open European markets to iconic Chinese goods which are increasingly popular in the West. One of many such items is the Anji white tea, a deceptively named green tea.
EU-China cooperation on GI goods began in 2006. In value terms, the market for the EU’s GI products is around €74.8bn, and together they account for 15.4 per cent of total EU food and drinks exports.
By 2024 the agreement will include an additional 175 GI names from both sides.