The Future Of Geographical Indications In Indonesia

Written by Ester Olivas, TCF Senior Expert in Geographical Indications

The EU-Indonesia Trade Cooperation Facility (TCF) project and Indonesian Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) within the Ministry of Law and Human Rights jointly organised a Seminar entitled “The future of Geographical Indications in Indonesia”. The seminar discussed proposals for an overall national strategy, intended to ensure the long-term sustainability of GIs in Indonesia. This event gathered over 150 participants, comprising high level representatives from the signatory ministries of the MoU and other relevant national ministries, GIs stakeholders, external partners and NGOs. Allowing for an open discussion on the future of GIs in Indonesia between all directly and indirectly involved actors, this event served as a unique platform to do an honest appraisal of the current situation of GIs in Indonesia, a practical approach of what needs to be done and a views exchange on recommendations for further improvement and long term sustainability of Indonesian GIs. In the framework of this seminar, the Minister of Law and Human Rights presided over a ceremony to deliver the official certificates for the registration as GIs in Indonesia of Tequila from Mexico, Grana Padano from Italy and Tunun Gringsing from Bali-Indonesia.

Geographical Indications (GIs) are places names or words used to identify products that come from specific geographical areas, which have special quality, characteristics and reputation that are directly linked to their origin, due to natural factors as well as traditional production practices.

The Republic of Indonesia has been developing the concept of “geographical indications” since 2001, with the establishment of a legal framework to improve competiveness, benefit producers, develop local communities and stimulate local economies. In fact, GIs have the potential to create an economic force for the remote regions of Indonesia, contributing to job creation, increasing the incomes of farmers and producers and contributing to GDP, as well as to the social strength of communities. The economic and social benefits of GIs could be very significant indeed. Thanks to its efforts of improvement, Indonesia has become one of the leading ASEAN countries in developing GIs.

So far, 40 well-known Indonesian products have followed the GI route, being officially registered as GIs in Indonesia by the competent authority, the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) within the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Such protected GIs include Kopi Arabika Gayo (Gayo Arabica Coffee), Lada Putih Muntok (Muntok White Pepper) or Madu Sumbawa (Sumbawa Honey), among others.

But the story of GIs in Indonesian keeps moving forward. Nine years after setting up the Indonesian GI system, the DGIP remains committed to the further development of GIs in the country. Through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) together with the ministries of Internal Affairs, Agriculture, Environment and Forestry, Industry, and Trade in October 2015, the Indonesian government aims to explore and develop the potential of GI products to stimulate the Indonesian economy, encourage the use of GIs to protect products sourced from the country’s natural resources, and improve cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation among central and regional government agencies to support the GI system nationally.

For the past four years (2012-2016), the EU-Indonesia Trade Cooperation Facility project (TCF) has been providing significant levels of support to the government’s efforts to improve the GI system, helping national and regional authorities to strengthen their knowledge on GIs as well as providing capacity building to stakeholders to improve their GI management abilities. These years have also allowed the TCF to make an in-depth assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the existing GI system, identifying key areas in which improvements are needed.

Photos from this event can be viewed here

Speechs can be downloaded below:

Speech from the EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, Mr. Vincent Gurend.

Speech from the Minister of Law and Human Rights Republic of Indonesia.

Speech from the Director General of Intellectual Property, MoLRH, Republic of Indonesia.