Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to push China to implement and enforce a comprehensive system to protect Taiwanese fruit product brand names and intellectual property rights.
Speaking at a news conference, DPP legislators Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) and Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said that the total value of counterfeit Taiwanese fruit products on the market in China amounted to about NT$20 million (US$656,000).
They said that Taiwan’s fruit exports last year totaled NT$40 million, with about NT$20 million in sales to Japan, NT$5 million to Hong Kong, NT$3.6 million to South Korea and about NT$2 million to China.
The lawmakers claimed that the low value of Taiwan’s fruit exports to China was not only the result of Taiwan’s agricultural know-how being stolen in China, but also because the Chinese market was flooded with fruit labeled with fake Taiwan brand names.
The total volume of counterfeit Taiwanese fruit sold on the Chinese market is almost equal to Taiwan’s total fruit exports to Japan, they said.
Pointing out that this has greatly harmed Taiwanese fruit growers’ interests, Lee and Chen urged Ma to push China, through the Straits Exchange Foundation as well as via direct negotiations, to better protect the intellectual property rights of Taiwan’s agricultural products.
“We hope Ma’s administration listens to the voices of Taiwanese farmers and not simply cater to the needs of the other side of the Taiwan Strait,” they said.