Branding critical amid FTAs

Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 08:56

VietGap-certified longan orchard in Hung Yen City. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue

National branding must accommodate international integration and sustainable export development, according to experts at the annual brand forum organised on Friday by the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Vu Ba Phu, VIETRADE’s director, said the forum was a good opportunity to discuss branding trend development and the benefits of sustainable exports to foreign markets as many Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are implemented.

Phu commented that Viet Nam’s current brand competition strategy has been strongly implemented at the local, national and international level, though businesses still hope for further state guidance on branding related issues in the import and export sector.

Ngo Chung Khanh, deputy director general of the MoIT’s Multilateral Trade Policy Department, said that the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has made national branding more urgent than ever.

By opening up of the domestic market and reducing many tariff lines to 0 per cent, the CPTPP will grant a plethora of prestigious imported products access to Vietnamese consumers, causing some local brands to lose on their own turf.

Khanh suggested that Vietnamese businesses step up their branding strategy to combat foreign competition.

Nguyen Quoc Thinh, advisor for the National Trademark Programme, also emphasised the importance of brand identity in the integration period.

According to Thinh, the process of brand building relies not only on product quality but also on customer service, as nowadays buyers have hundreds of different reasons to choose or reject a product.

As such, he advised that since customers tend to pick products with the most reliable information and standardised quality, domestic firms should aim to establish such credibility.

The forum commemorated notable national brands including the Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro), Chu Dau ceramics, Hanoi Trading Service Fashion Jointstock Company (Hafasco) and the Thuy Ta Joint Stock Company.

Nguyen Tien Vuong, Hapro’s Deputy General Director, expressed his delight in seeing the company affirmed as one of Ha Noi’s leading brand names, in both its main areas of import-export and domestic trade, ranging from convenience stores, electronics, clothing to dining services in nearly 80 countries and regions around the world.

Vuong said that in order to expand and develop its brand name in foreign markets, Hapro has been actively participating in trade fairs, market surveys and other promotion activities, which he recommended to other firms.

Across the world, over 80 countries are actively implementing national branding programmes to promote local brands in overseas markets, said Phu.

This year’s Vietnam Branding Forum focused on solutions for brand development in foreign markets, as well as its role in market expansion and an overview of the National Trademark Program with practical experiences from local businesses.

Established in 2003, the Vietnam National Trademark Program has been the sole State-sponsored only programme for the promotion of national goods and services branding.

Since 2008, April 20 has been the official Vietnam Trademark Day to acknowledge domestic businesses, promoting noteworthy local brand names in both Vietnamese and international markets. — VNS

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