Champagne, one of the most recognisable appellations in the world, on Monday became the first foreign product to be awarded Geographical Indication status in the Kingdom.
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The move serves to protect the product’s reputation in Cambodia and will lead the way for other popular international products to seek GI recognition in Cambodia.
Speaking at a ceremony Monday at the French Embassy in Phnom Penh, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak said, “Champagne is the first foreign GI product to be registered in Cambodia.
“We called on producers of other foreign GI products selling in Cambodia to follow suit and seek a certificate to protect their GI status as Cambodia is also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.”
Eva Nguyen Binh, French Ambassador to Cambodia, said the international committee of Champagne applied for the certificate in 2017.
“The protection on French products in Cambodia is an important matter for French businesses. Today, Champagne becomes the first foreign product to be listed as a GI product in Cambodia,” she said.
Minister Sorasak said protecting intellectual property has become a priority for his ministry, who continues to work hard to train officials and set up the necessary regulation.
“We do hope to see more products from France and other foreign countries registering in Cambodia. Champagne will help us improve business ties with France,” he said.
Champagne – sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the French region of the same name – is one of France’s most famous products. The wine was recognised as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 2015. Brand protections have been registered in 117 countries, with sales of the wine accounting for annual revenue of more than 5 billion euro ($5.6 billion).
This month Kampong Speu province’s palm sugar was awarded Geographical Indication status in the European Union. It becomes only the second Cambodian product to earn the distinction in the European bloc after Kampot pepper in 2016.