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|The Vietnam Value Programme and Vietrade have been promoting local brands in foreign markets|
The world’s markets are gradually recovering and the demand for goods is increasing in most of Vietnam’s export markets. Amid this scenario, Vu Ba Phu, director general of the Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is working with his team to implement the Vietnam Value Programme to support businesses to promote their brands at home and abroad, strengthen and increase their brand strength and reach, enhance domestic trade transactions, and create export momentum.
Phu and his associates are preparing for the selection process of the eighth Vietnam Value Programme which will take place in 2022. According to Phu, the government’s issuance of Decision No.30/2019/QD-TTg on the implementation of trade promotion activities shows the state’s support for the business community.
“However, the state does not act on behalf of businesses, but will sponsor quality and reputable brands to help Vietnamese businesses create a strong foothold in the domestic and global markets,” Phu said.
Vietnam has been integrating itself deeply into international markets, but there remain many businesses that act indifferently to investment and brand building and are only interested in product development, investment capital, and sales.
The results of the MoIT’s survey of 500 businesses on brand protection awareness conducted this year shows that the brand awareness of Vietnamese products remains weak, as only a fifth of businesses invest in building their brands – and if so, mostly in Vietnam, not so much in foreign markets.
“Furthermore, the trademark infringements are on the rise. Businesses need to know that trademarks registered for protection in Vietnam are only valid here, not in other territories. This means that there is a possibility that some of Vietnam’s trademarks or geographical indications could be registered by an enterprise in their country, making them the owner of the trademark and giving them exclusive rights,” Phu explained.
However, Phu also clarified that the recognition as a national brand in the Vietnam Value Programme is not just an award. Rather it is a unique, long-term trade promotion programme of the government. While participating in the programme, enterprises can evaluate their activities, production and business results, and branding strategies through the programme’s criteria of quality, innovation, and pioneering capacity.
Behind reputable corporate brands in the market is often a story of a successful branding strategy. Ultimately, many such brands will also improve a country’s reputation in the international arena.
During the last four years, the role of the Vietnam Value Programme has been continuously improved, helping to reform the business and investment environment, improving import and export, and furthering positive GDP growth.
Through the programme, the government has focused on building and developing Vietnamese brands with outstanding values, to effectively implement a synchronised strategy to boost the goods and service distribution at home and abroad.
The export turnover of products recognised as national brands is also set to achieve a higher growth rate than the national average, and businesses with such products are more likely to gain a stronger foothold in the international playground.
Brand Finance’s valuation of the total value of Vietnamese national brands rose from $247 billion in 2019 to $319 billion in 2020, an increase of 29 per cent compared to 2019 and a memorable milestone for the country. “The result also creates an impetus for strong institutional reforms for the business and investment environment towards international standards to help Vietnam’s national brands be better positioned globally,” Phu said.
“The promotion of national brands is not only an assurance of the quality of Vietnam’s services and goods in the international arena but also creates certain advantages for businesses in the process of selling and providing services, as well as in attracting investment and increasing partnerships.”
According to Phu, working with many companies in different fields that are facing many different problems is both a joy and a challenge. “I never know who I will meet tomorrow and what problems I will encounter. The happiest thing is to see is that a company I’ve been advising operates well and creates a brand value,” Phu concluded.
Enterprises that are recognised in the Vietnam Value Programme can take advantage of the good signals from foreign investors and the positive assessment by international organisations and brands in the world, which creates a favourable environment for businesses to operate, reduce production costs, and improve their competitiveness.
The Vietnam Value Programme has undergone 18 years of development. Phu said that the programme’s recognised products and businesses had been doing well, but still expected them to further grow from strength to strength. “In the global value chain, many important Vietnamese products are often in the midstream segment and have not yet become large brands that can increase national values in the entire value chain,” Phu explained.
He said that in the next decade, the Vietnam Value Programme will continue to focus on building and developing Vietnamese brands associated with outstanding values to effectively implement the programme based on the strategy of promoting the export turnover of the products that are recognised as national brands to increase to a level higher than the national average.
Participation in the eighth Vietnam Value Programme
Enterprises that want to participate in the programme are asked to submit three sets of registration documents to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to select products that they want to be recognised as national brands before March 31.
The Secretariat of the Vietnam Value Programme will be responsible for providing specific guidance on the application, registration, and selection process to ensure compliance with regulations, fairness, and transparency. The announcement ceremony for selected products that will achieve the status of national brands is expected to be held in the fourth quarter of 2022.