The 2018 Vietnam Trademark Forum held in Hanoi on April 20 sought to assist Vietnamese enterprises in building trademarks and achieving sustainable exports in the context of intensive global integration, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

The forum was held as a number of free trade agreements are set to take effect in the near future and given the fact that brand competitiveness is increasingly important.

“A lot of Vietnamese goods have been exported to foreign markets but under foreign importers’ brands, not Vietnamese,” said Mr. Nguyen Quoc Thinh, a lecturer in Trademark Management at the University of Commerce.

This means that Vietnamese enterprises face barriers in taking control over the quality and processing of for-export products, which leads to a situation in which foreign importers still overlook products from Vietnam, he added.

Given that, he proposed that Vietnamese firms work together in developing brands.

To that end, in parallel with support from the government and relevant ministries, enterprises themselves should raise their sense of proactiveness in developing their brands, said Mr. Luong Ngoc Nhan, Chief of the Economic and Trade Promotion Department at the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.

“Building brands is hard work for small and medium-sized enterprises because they face a number of difficulties in terms of capital, skills, and access to information sources,” he explained. “That enterprises overlook the importance of building brands is another challenge.”

Building trademarks is the right way to protect product value as well as the image and prestige of enterprises, forum attendees agreed.

“It’s important that buyers know who you are and why you are different and better,” said Mr. Tony Pigott, a brand building expert from Canada. “In a competitive market, the consumer market for example, it’s even more critical that people trust what they buy and know who it is. I think in Vietnam you have so much quality and variety but the world doesn’t know you yet. As the world doesn’t know you, you’re not sure whether it’s going to work.” He suggested it’s time for Vietnam to build its brands and build trust.

The forum is part of the 2018 Vietnam Trademark Week organized in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City and lasting from April 16 to 24.

This year’s event focuses on improving competitive capacity to help enterprises develop markets and build brands for different commodities.

The forum attracted the participation of a large number of representatives from ministries and sectors, scholars, and businesses that have paid much attention to developing brands to boost exports.