Tran Huu Hiep, member of the Southwestern Region Steering Committee, tells the Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper that more Vietnamese agricultural products should develop trademarks.
What do you think about the ongoing process of creating trademarks for Vietnamese agricultural products?
Our Law on Trade and the Intellectual Property Law only talk about the definition of "trademark" and "trade activities." The concept of "brand name" is not mentioned in the two laws.
In 2003, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed Decision 253.2003/QD-TTg to develop national brand names. The key objective of that proposal was to make our brand names, trademarks and geographical indications known worldwide, with the logo Viet Trademark on goods sold inside and outside Viet Nam.
So far, the brands Trung Nguyen Coffee, Thai Nguyen Tea and many others have become familiar to Vietnamese and foreign consumers. However, our economy is integrating deeper and deeper into the world economy, and it is imperative to us to develop our national, regional and local trademarks. More recently, the Phu Quoc fish source trademark has been registered and protected in 28 European countries. Binh Tan- Vinh Long sweet potatoes have been registered with the National Office of Industrial Property and Trademarks Protection in Viet Nam.
The Mekong Delta is the largest producer of rice, fish and fruit in the country. Do you think we should develop a regional trademark for our farm products?
I should say the Mekong Delta is not only good for producing rice, fruit and fish. It is also a place that ensures the health of the country's agriculture industry. In the last few years, Viet Nam's agro-export turnover mainly came from this region. By now, though, most of the products from this region don't have trademarks. So it is high time the Government, scientists, enterprises and farmers sat down together to create trademarks for high-quality products in the region.
Do you have any suggestions for developing a trademark for these agricultural products?
In my opinion, we should consider a trademark an enterprise's property, or the property of a community, region or nation. If we think a trademark is private property, we should encourage enterprises to develop their own trademarks for special products from the region.
As the leading Vietnamese area in terms of rice, seafood and a variety of well-known fruits, the Mekong Delta earns its reputation from these products. That's why it is necessary to review all existing plans and find the products in the region that have more comparative advantages. Based on the findings, they'll then start a plan to develop trademarks for these products.
A very important point I want to emphasise here is the application of bio-technology in agricultural production, particularly VietGAP (Viet Nam Good Agricultural Practices) and GlobalGap during production, harvest and post-harvest.
In addition, it is important to train farmers to help them understand about the need to apply advanced technology in agricultural production. Meanwhile, Government agencies should pay attention to human resources development to help enterprises and farmers catch up with new technology and understand the importance of developing good trademarks for their products. — VNS