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Riyadh–Beijing agreements to bolster consumer protection

Staff writer |
Saudi Minister of Commerce Tawfiq Al-Rabiah hailed the cooperation agreement signed between Riyadh and Beijing on the sidelines of Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's state visit to China, saying the agreement will help to reduce the flow of counterfeit goods.

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The Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese Public Department for Quality Control, Tests and Quarantine on Friday. The agreement calls for Saudi Arabia and China to monitor and safeguard joint trade, penalizing traders who seek to import or export counterfeit goods.

In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Commerce Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah confirmed that there had been lengthy deliberations before the agreement reached its current form, noting that the two sides had exchanged expertise on commercial matters.

The agreement aims to block the flow of counterfeit goods into the Kingdom's market by adopting several measures, including the creation of a joint blacklist of manufacturers and traders who are found to be dealing in counterfeit goods.

"The agreement was signed with the Chinese side following lengthy discussions. What is more important is the implementation [of the agreement], as there will be meetings every three months... to ensure the agreement is properly implemented," Mr. Al-Rabiah added.

The agreement includes penalties for any party found guilty of importing counterfeit goods, in addition to notifying the country of export to allow it to take the necessary measures against suspected exporters and manufacturers.

Mr. Al-Rabiah said: "The penalties will be part of the anti-fraud law, including imposing fines in addition to other penalties," adding, "The Chinese side will apply its own legal system."

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