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Developing a national brand is a critical part of the country's international integration efforts, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said.

Hai made the statement at a forum on national branding held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency yesterday in Ha Noi.

"The development of a national brand is key to cultural identity confirmation, especially in the context of integration," Hai said.

The National Branding Programme, approved in 2003, requires long-term strategies and specific routes to accumulate experiences in promoting a national trademark.

In addition to efforts by the Government and ministries, the business community should also accelerate effective measures to build and advertise their own products' brand names.

Hai said the business community has gradually increased its awareness about building brands and has become more involved in national branding.

He attributed this improvement to close and effective co-ordination between the Government and enterprises, in addition to extensive assistance from the media in propagating the importance of branding acitivities.

Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, Managing Director of the Ha Noi Trade Corporation (Hapro), whose brand qualified for the "Viet Nam Value" award, said the national branding progamme aims to help elevate the businesses' statuses in the long term.

"Shortly after being officially recognised as a national-brand enterprise, Hapro leaders have been planning to connect the ‘Viet Nam Value' brand and the company's own brand," Hien said, adding that being given the National Value award helped the company earn consumers' trust.

Gustav Dahlin, the second secretary of the Political and Trade Committee of the Embassy of Sweden in Viet Nam, shared some national branding experiences during his presentation.

He said Sweden emphasised the values of equality, sustainable development and creation, adding that those are criteria that are always focused on throughout the building of a national brand.

"Swedish enterprises see them as key messages in their branding activities," Dahlin said.

He told Viet Nam News that Viet Nam's population is now over 90 million, much bigger than Sweden's of over 9 million, therefore, the business community and the whole country need to intensively promote the national trademark within the country first, and then spread it out regionally and internationally.

Sweden is a part of the EU, which helps it accelerate plans to build up its national brand but also means it needs to help develop the EU brand, he said.

"The situation is similar for Viet Nam, as Viet Nam is part of ASEAN," he said. "You should be a vital part of ASEAN, contributing to the regional brand, but not to forgetting to distinguish yourself and to be outstanding." — VNS

(Bizhub)