The Geographical Indications (GI) Law will protect our local products like Peshawari chappals, Multani blue pottery, Hunza apricots, Hala ajrak, Kasuri methi, Chaman grapes, Turbat Dates and many other such products. This was stated by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood, in a debriefing meeting after a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Commerce, in Ministry of Commerce today. The meeting was attended by officers of the Ministry.
Talking about the objectives of the GI Law, Mr. Razak Dawood underlined that the policy of the Government is to get premium prices for our indigenous products in international market as a lot of companies sell them without any branding of the origin of these products. Mr. Dawood added that the Standing Committee also appreciated the coordination between the Parliament and Ministry of Commerce for the enactment of GI Act.
Pakistan enacted Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act in March, 2020. It is a landmark achievement on the part of the Parliament and the Government of Pakistan. This will lead towards protection of Pakistani brands and ensure premium price for Pakistani products originating from different areas. GI Law was pending for over 14 years and a number of companies were using these products under their name tag, without attributing them to their origins.
After the GI Act, indigenous products of Pakistan will get premium price in the international market. Under this Act, a wide range of products, including Basmati Rice, Hunza Apricot, Sargodha Kinnow, Multan Mango, Sindhi Ajrak and Peshawari Chappal etc. will be introduced in the international market as national brands of Pakistan.
The GI Act, 2020 provides legal protection to local products which will encourage Small and Medium Enterprises to expand their business worldwide. The protection of geographical indications will boost exports and will be helpful in supporting rural development in the country, enhancing the livelihood of agriculture producers and skilled craftsmen. In addition, the marketing of GI products will enhance the secondary economic activities in the GI region which will boost the regional economic development. This promotion of indigenous products can also support growth in tourism industry as the people from around the world will be encouraged to access the special products which only originate from one particular region and form a part of their cultural heritage.
At the end of the debriefing session, the Advisor directed the Ministry officials to continuously follow up on the implementation of the GI Act and resolve any issues on priority so that the intended objectives can be achieved with maximum benefits to the SMEs and local communities around the country.