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This chapter analyzes some of the topics on the current debate involving geographical indications (GIs) of origin that will be further elaborated by the contributors to this volume from a variety of perspectives and angles. As the title indicates, this volume focuses on GI protection “at the crossroads of trade, development, and culture,” with a specific focus on the countries in the Asia-Pacific region. This choice is due primarily to the fact that the analysis of issues related to GI protection in this region is, to date, not as extensive as the analysis in other regions, particularly in the Western world. This volume intends to fill this gap and aims, in particular, at analyzing the potential benefits, but also related problems, of GI protection for local and national development in Asia-Pacific countries. Trade- and culture-related issues, primarily issues related to the conservation and promotion of local culture and cultural diversity, are also central to the contributions to this volume. As the opening contribution of this volume, this chapter then aims at setting the stage and framing the context for other authors by offering an overview of the status of the GI debate, as well as emphasizing some of the trends that have become salient features of this debate in Asia-Pacific, and worldwide. These trends are, in particular, the following: the globalization of the GI debate beyond Western countries and beyond a “wine and cheese” agenda, or trade war, between primarily Western interests; the increased attention for the potential benefits of GI protection by developing countries and the often neglected attention to the potential problems associated with GI protection for local producers in these countries; and the increasing loosening of the definition of GIs as symbols of true geographical origin in favor of a definition granting exclusive rights based on the “historical reputation” of GIs.

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Cambridge University Press


New York, NY


Irene Calboli & Wee Loon Ng-Loy

Book Title

Geographical Indications at the Crossroads of Trade, Development, and Culture Read: Focus on Asia-Pacific

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