China agrees to protect good name of Scotch

Agreement has been reached with China to ensure that only whisky produced in Scotland can be marketed as Scotch to Chinese consumers, it was announced yesterday.

Industry experts believe that the deal, revealed in Saturday's Scotsman, could help double sales of Scotch in the fast-expanding Chinese market over the next four to five years.

Exports to the Far Eastern giant have already grown from 1 million in 2001 to 80 million last year.

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The agreement is to be signed by Business Secretary Vince Cable today as he visits China as part of a political and trade delegation headed by Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr Cable said: "It is important consumers have confidence the product they are buying is genuine. This agreement means greater legal protection in China which will help strengthen export sales of this successful Scottish product."