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January 27, 2021

Pakistan receives GI tag for its Basmati: Tag to strengthen Pak case against India in EU

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January 27, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received the geographical indicator (GI) tag for its Basmati on January 26, 2021, according to official sources on Tuesday. Through inter-provincial and public-private cooperation, the country has obtained the GI tag for its Basmati, which will strengthen its case against India in the European Union (EU). Since Basmati rice fetches higher prices in the international markets, India had attempted to block Pakistan’s trade in the EU by declaring that its Basmati was the geographically original one. Pakistan had challenged the claim and, by registering its own GI for Basmati, it would claim the same protection of its Basmati in the EU as India.

The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) made major contribution to preparation of the book of specifications for Basmati. The book laid down the criteria of characteristics for Basmati, which needed to be followed by any producer or operator in Pakistan if they desire to obtain the licence to use the name.

Since REAP is a trade body which has been involved in exporting Basmati to the world and it is representative of Pakistan’s exporters of Basmati, it was best suited to offer insight into Basmati’s trade, characteristics, regions and history.

The registration of Basmati as a GI in Pakistan required the cooperation between the public and private sectors. The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) was designated as a registrant of Basmati by the federal government. TDAP moved an application for registration of Basmati with the Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO). The IPO sought assistance from the Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku and REAP. It mapped the regions where Basmati is grown by taking recommendations from all provinces. The process followed by the IPO had been an inclusive one and it brought all the stakeholders on board.