Location markers dire for branding

Friday, Dec 02, 2016 09:12

Geographical markers are going to be a crucial factor in the effective branding of Vietnamese products in a market economy on the verge of comprehensive global economic integration. — Photo vietq.vn

Geographical markers are going to be a crucial factor in the effective branding of Vietnamese products in a market economy on the verge of comprehensive global economic integration, a senior official said yesterday.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Deputy Director of the Ha Noi Department of Industry and Trade, also told a conference held in Ha Noi that enterprises and localities were showing greater awareness of the issue.

The conference on market and branding development using geographical markers was jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Ha Noi People’s Committee.

It sought to increase understanding of the issue and come up with policy orientations for promoting Vietnamese agricultural products as well as regional food specialties.

Lan said businesses and traditional craft villages are paying more attention to advice from relevant institutions on geographical markers and branding registration.

They recognise that consumers are moving towards higher quality products with assurance of their origins and recognised brand names, she said.

Producers are more interested now in putting sustainably developed registered products on the market.

Held on the sideline of the 2016 Regional Specialties Fair, the conference aimed at realistic evaluations of both domestic and foreign models to advise businesses on building their own geographical markers and adding value to their products.

Experts at the conference instructed local businesses on legal procedures related to geographical markers so that the latter could better understand the branding concept and build a sound management platform for their regional specialty products.

The conference was also aimed at increasing the contribution of Vietnamese small and medium businesses to the national export turnover through added efficiency in trade assistance services at regional and local levels.

Building a concrete and reliable geographical marker for local brands and products is a realistic need and an efficient marketing and trade promotion tool, experts said.

This requires long term investment as well as requires the commitment and effort from all stakeholders including producers, distributors and authorities from local to central.

The conference was part of an official development assistance programme sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) from 2013 to 2017 to help small and medium businesses in Viet Nam increase their export competitiveness through local trade promotion frameworks.

The programme is administrated by the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency and the MoIT.

Geographical markers are a chief concern for local authorities and businesses, because they can elevate regional products to the national level and gain access to consumers across the country, before seeking international markets. They would boost the nation’s status on global commerce and garner international recognition for the country’s traditional products.

Aside from the commercial significance, geographical markers and local brand name registration for regional products will also serve as efficient legal protection for domestic products, ensure the prestige of Vietnamese products, and limit infringements of intellectual property right.

This, in turn, would effectively prevent consumers from being cheated and encourage farmers, regional producers and businesses to co-operate on developing local specialties, the conference heard. — VNS

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