Muscat – The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP), in coordination with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is working on a project aimed at elevating the status of Omani frankincense on the global stage.
The project is focused on empowering local frankincense producers to upgrade the labelling and marketing of their products safeguarded under the umbrella of geographical indications.
GIs, an integral aspect of intellectual property rights, distinctly identify a product originating from a particular geographical area. The unique quality, reputation or other inherent characteristics of the product are fundamentally ascribed to its geographical origin.
According to MoCIIP, the core objective of this endeavour is to usher in a transformative phase in the production and marketing of Omani frankincense.
It underscores the crucial requirement of adhering to precise methods of frankincense production, ensuring both its availability and sustainability. This, in turn, unfolds a plethora of commercial avenues for small and medium enterprises, alongside fostering income diversification, cultural preservation and environmental protection.
Through the National Intellectual Property Office, MoCIIP has stated that GI protection is pivotal for conserving the environmental and biological diversity associated with the origin of goods and services. It primarily hinges on the geographical area where the products are conceived, developed and processed.
Khalid bin Hamoud al Hinai, Director of National Intellectual Property Office, informed that enhancing the labelling of products under GIs is poised to bolster the marketing of frankincense products both domestically and internationally.
He indicated that this project would aid producers in devising a robust strategy for protected labelling with GIs, ensuring the supply of authentic, high-quality Omani frankincense which consumers yearn for.
Elaborating further, he stated that the project, through meticulous fact-gathering, aims for a broader understanding of GIs’ scope for frankincense in Oman.
It seeks to raise awareness among beneficiaries regarding the potential advantages, including value addition to products and export enhancement. “Moreover, it envisages guiding a select consortium of producers to integrate GIs into their branding and marketing strategies, and foster collaborations with successful companies retailing frankincense-based products, thereby amplifying their marketing outreach both locally and globally.”
He informed that MoCIIP is working to encourage the use of GIs in Oman after its accession to the Lisbon Agreement in February 2021.