Scottish Secretary David Mundell has called on the Mozambican government to do more to protect Scotch whisky producers from being undercut by cheap copies.
He raised the issue yesterday during talks with industry and commerce minister Ernesto Tonela in Maputo.
At the meeting, the Tory Cabinet minister lobbied him to grant Scotch whisky geographical indication status to help producers market its premium quality and protect it from counterfeiters.
Mr Mundell, Scotland’s only Conservative MP, said it was important those exporting to Mozambique get all the support they deserve.
He added: “Our firms adhere to the highest standards and make a product which is recognised the world over.
“They should be protected from imitators, and consumers in Mozambique – and elsewhere – should be able to have confidence that what they are drinking is the real thing.”
Scotch Whisky Association Chief Executive David Frost hailed the demand for the product in Mozambique, which is expected to grow as the country’s economy does.
He added: “We have the same positive outlook for many African countries with a growing-middle class seeking out high-quality imported products such as Scotch.
“As well as raising the profile of Scotch and the opportunities for producers, the minister’s visit is also a chance to talk about some of the challenges to doing business, for example high levels of taxation on Scotch in Mozambique.”
Last night, the Scottish secretary continued the theme by hosting a whisky reception at the High Commissioner’s residence.
Part of the UK Government’s Exporting is Great drive, he and British High Commissioner to Mozambique Joanna Kuenssberg welcomed guests from the worlds of business, politics and culture.
There was also a piper, whisky tasting – with fusion haggis samosas on offer to soak up the alcohol – and a performance of the witches from Macbeth.
Some £1.6million of Scotch was exported to Mozambique in 2014 and GDP growth is forecast to exceed 8% this year.
A European Partnership Agreement between the EU and Southern Africa Development Community was concluded last July and is due to come into force.
It promises to remove the current 20% tariff on alcoholic beverages within 10 years in Mozambique, boosting trade between the two markets.