In June, the EU and China published a list of 200 European and Chinese geographical indications (GIs) that are protected in both countries as part of a bilateral deal that should be concluded by December.
Many European items, particularly those from Italy, have been left off the list because the European Commission’s selection criteria took into account the possibility of counterfeiting in China. Only one potential export product from the South of Italy was on the list: buffalo mozzarella.
Once the agreement had been approved by both China and Europe, the Commission immediately began negotiations with the EU member states in order to include other possible export products on the list
A further 162 European products and Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) were added, including five Sicilian items, all selected on the basis of predicted demand in China. In January, China eliminated its phytosanitary barriers that had hindered imports of Sicilian citrus fruit.