|Customers visit a booth displaying quality Vietnamese brands in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo The Anh
HA NOI (VNS)— The development of national brands was critical for the country's economic development during the international integration process, experts said at a forum held yesterday in Ha Noi.
The Viet Nam Value Forum, held jointly by the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, Vietnam News Agency and Hoa Sen Group, saw participants discuss measures to push up the national branding programme in line the Government's economic goals.
According to Le Phuoc Vu, chairman of Hoa Sen Group, better branding was crucial in enhancing the competitiveness of Vietnamese products and services at a time when the country was integrating more deeply into the world economy, especially the Asian Economic Community to be established in 2015.
Despite its importance, developing national brands received little attention from both Government agencies and enterprises, he said.
Vu said he was worried about the domination of foreign-invested companies in the country's export sector, as capital for national branding development was limited.
"This rings an alarm bell," he said, adding that Viet Nam would be at risk of falling too far behind other countries and failing to grasp the opportunities that integration would bring unless competitiveness was improved, he said.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai from the National Economic University said a survey by a US professor found that products from Viet Nam were poorly rated by young US consumers, reflecting that national branding needed to be improved.
According to Duong Quoc Xuan, deputy head of the South West Steering Committee, the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta did not have strongly-recognisable brands for many of its leading products such as rice, fisheries and fruit.
The region was in urgent need of a strategy for brand development, he said, stressing that the regional link would play an important role.
Experts at the forum said the lack of protection measures for existing products that were tied to specific areas with geographical indicators meant some of these brands were at risk of disappearing or having their market share taken by foreign companies who were more savvy in marketing their brands.
Tran Le Hong, director of the Information Department at the National Office of Intellectual Property, said poor management of Vietnamese brands linked to specific parts of the country was partly to blame, along with concerns over quality of products and services.
According to the director of the Trade Promotion Agency, Do Thang Hai, co-ordination between ministries, local authorities, enterprises and the media should be enhanced to make the national branding programme more effective.
Also at the forum, Pham Quang My from the Viet Nam Administrations of Seas and Islands, stressed the importance of the marine sector, which would help boost sea economic development.
My said Viet Nam had great sea potential with more than 3,260kms of coastline, 1 million square metres of sea water and 3,000 islands.
Under the Viet Nam's Sea Strategy to 2020, the coastal and sea-born economy would make up from 53-55 per cent of the gross domestic product, partly thanks to breakthroughs in sea-related economic sectors such as oil drilling, seafood processing and tourism.
The National Branding Programme was approved in 2003, and it focuses on improving quality, innovation, creativeness and leadership. — VNS