David Mundell in push to protect Scotch in Mozambique
Scottish Secretary David Mundell has urged officials in Mozambique to grant legal protection for Scotch whisky.
During a visit to the fast-growing African state, Mr Mundell asked Mozambique's minister of industry and commerce to give Scotch geographical indication (GI) status.
The move would mean only whisky that has been made in Scotland could legally be sold as Scotch in the country.
Exports of whisky to Mozambique have risen strongly in recent years.
Mr Mundell raised the issue as part of an effort to promote Scottish exports during a tour of Mozambique and Malawi.
He said: "Whisky is one of Scotland's greatest success stories and it is important that our exporters get all the support they deserve.
"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 (SWA) chief executive David Frost said: "It is great to see that Scotch Whisky is in such demand in Mozambique and we expect its popularity to increase as the country's economy grows.
"We have the same positive outlook for many African countries with a growing-middle class seeking out high-quality imported products such as Scotch.
"We are pleased that the British government is supporting Scotch whisky in Mozambique through the Secretary of State for Scotland's visit.
"As well as raising the profile of Scotch and the opportunities for producers, the 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 year Scotch whisky won protected status in Africa for the first time, after Botswana recognised the spirit as a geographical indication (GI).
The SWA said at the time it expected to see demand for Scotch increase in African countries in future years as economies on the continent grew.