French urge crackdown on brand name pirates

13th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

SEOUL, April 13 (AFP) - French Trade Minister Francois Loos urged South Korea authorities Wednesday to shut down the lucrative trade in counterfeit goods here.

SEOUL, April 13 (AFP) - French Trade Minister Francois Loos urged South Korea authorities Wednesday to shut down the lucrative trade in counterfeit goods here.

South Korea is second only to China in the production of pirated goods that account for 10 percent of world trade, or EUR 500 billion annually, French officials said.

Loos said that he impressed on Han Duck-Soo, minister of finance and the economy, and Kim Hyung-Jong, the minister of trade, in separate meetings on Tuesday, the importance of zero-tolerance on the issue.

"I told the two ministers of the importance of this matter," he said. "You cannot support limits, you have to eradicate it completely. That means we don't accept 10 percent. We accept nothing."

Loos arrived here Tuesday and departs early Thursday at the head of a delegation of some 15 top French industrialists.

The visit is focussed on boosting bilateral trade and investment as well as protection of intellectual property rights.

Benoit Battistelli, head of the French National Institute for Industrial Property, said that 30,000 French jobs and some 100,000 in Europe as a whole were lost annually because of counterfeiters.

He said South Korea understood the scale of the problem and planned to mount a publicity campaign on television entitled "counterfeiting is theft" from November.

"Consumers must know that they are committing an illegal act when the buy counterfeit goods," Battistelli said.

Loos said South Korea is seeking systematic ways to prevent counterfeiting. "Today we laid the groundwork for good cooperation," he added.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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