FPCCI to discuss GI tag of basmati rice as priority on October 7

KARACHI:At the behest of the basmati rice exporters, the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has convened the 2nd meeting of the Central Standing Committee (CSC) on Rice on 7th October 2020 at the Federation House, says a Press release.
Rafique Suleman chairman of the CSC on rice will preside to discuss amongst other issues the most important and crucial issue of the geographical indications (GI) issue of basmati rice tag for Pakistan.
President Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) Zulfikar Thaver said that the UNISAME is thankful to the chairman of the CSC on rice for giving the matter of GI tag of basmati top priority and convening the meeting to discuss the issue.
Thaver as advocate high court and solicitor advised the chairman CSC to first comprehend the strategy in its true perspective as discussed by UNISAME in its meetings with SMEDA wherein the steps were discussed thoroughly. He urged the chairman to set up a task force to pursue the matter on top priority.
He said it is very important that the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) on behalf of all stakeholders of basmati rice be urged to file an urgent trademark application for basmati with the registrar trademarks and get it registered as a trademark (TM) and secondly the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) simultaneously grant the GI tag to basmati. He said before the IPO applies to European Union (EU) it has to first itself grant the GI tag to Pakistani basmati rice in recognition of its merits and eligibility as basmati by virtue of its definition and features.
He said the registered TM of basmati and its GI tag are two sides of the same coin and both the matters of ownership of basmati and its GI tag must be crystal clear within the country first. Thirdly FPCCI needs to obtain the status of the case of basmati in the honourable Sindh High Court and join the suit as intervening party and file an urgent application for hearing in view of the Indian exclusive application filed in EU to impress upon their lordships to give their valuable judgements in the best interest of justice at their earliest convenience as deemed best to enable the IPO to move forward in best national interest.
UNISAME experts sincerely hope the FPCCI CSC chairman Rafique Suleman will adopt the strategy and take into confidence the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), TDAP, IPO and its own legal experts and move forward.
On behalf of himself and UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver assured the CSC of FPCCI full support and cooperation in the matter.

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