India Vs Pakistan battle for Basmati boils over, Pakistan gets its own GI tag
The ownership battle for Basmati rice between India and Pakistan at the European Union just got more intense.
Pakistan has reportedly secured the Geographical Identity tag for its basmati rice. A GI tag would give rice producers exclusive rights to the basmati label in the lucrative European market.
India had last year approached the European Union to recognize its Basmati rice which is grown in seven Indian states and territories. The EU had in September 2020 approved India's application and claimed that basmati rice was an Indian origin product.
Pakistan, however, had challenged India's claim arguing that its farmers grow basmati rice too. Ironically, India accounts for 65 per cent of the international trade in Basmati rice, while Pakistan accounted for the remaining 35 per cent.
And now with Pakistan registering its own GI for Basmati, the country could claim the same protection of its Basmati in the EU as India.
Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Commerce and Investment, took to Twitter to say: "I am glad to inform that Pakistan has registered Basmati Rice as Geographical Indication (GI) under Geographical Indications Act 2020. Under this Act, a GI registry has been formed which will register GIs and maintain the basic record of proprietors & authorised users of GI."
"This will provide protection of our products against misuse or imitation and hence will guarantee that their share in the international market is protected. I encourage you to send your suggestions of products that can be registered as GIs to Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan."
Pakistan's moves are aimed at blocking any potential deal India may have with the EU for Basmati rice which could run into billions.