Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 March

Armenia launches rebranding seeking new name for its prominent cognac

YEREVAN, JULY 13, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian ministry of economic development and investments, along with European partners, is inviting international consultants to participate in the re-branding process of Armenian-made brandy, which until now is being labeled “Cognac”.

A competition will be held and the winner will implement assessment of requirements for designing, promoting of the new label in foreign markets, deputy minister Mane Adamyan told ARMENPRESS.

The issue is a requirement of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between Armenia and the European Union.

The name Cognac is a trademark which is held by France, since Cognac is a city and solely the brandy which has been distilled here can be named “cognac”.

Debates over this issue took place during the negotiations over the agreement with the EU, and eventually the document stipulates that Armenian-made brandy, which has been labeled as “cognac” for many years, must be re-branded.

“Because we have great exports of brandy we must do everything in order for this product to maintain its positions in exports markets,” the deputy minister says.

She said that it has been defined that the “Armenian cognac” label must be gradually withdrawn within 14 years from the domestic market, and after 25 years products labeled as “Armenian cognac” shouldn’t be exported to other markets, she said.

A risk of unfair competition exists in terms of Russia over this issue because this issue is regulated by the agreement inked between Armenia and the EU, which doesn’t relate to Russia. Thus, Russian producers will be free to use the label and the Armenian production will appear in unequal competition conditions. Adamyan said it is unclear whether Russia will assume any obligations during various negotiations over the years. She added that the agreement also touches upon champagne, but right now cognac is under attention.

The previous government had attempted to launch a similar process, whereby 8 companies were chosen for the rebranding process, but eventually the process failed and they didn’t participate in the competition.

Adamyan says the current government has a clear stance over implementing necessary actions within the deadlines in accordance to the agreement.

The full interview with the deputy minister is available in Armenian.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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