Keynote speaker Dr Nancy Snow – Professor Emeritus of California State University, Fullerton and a global messaging advisor for the Government of Japan – said that a country's brand provides a framework for its long-term economic growth, increases the value of its assets, and gives it a competitive advantage, thereby attracting more investments, tourists, and other benefits.
“With mounting concerns about environmental issues and sustainable development, a country's ‘green’ brand is becoming increasingly influential, particularly as many countries work towards achieving the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” she emphasised.
“Vietnam has a unique opportunity to position itself on the global stage as a ‘green nation’ with strong national green brands that represent the country in the global marketplace.”
Elements of a nation’s green brand
So far, neither academia nor practice has provided a complete definition or model of a nation's green brand. The typical approach is to integrate environmental issues and sustainable development into the general country brand model.
According to an RMIT research team led by Dr Erhan Atay and Dr Dang Thao Quyen, a nation's green brand can be defined as “a country's brand that emphasises and excels at sustainable development while protecting the environment”.
Accordingly, the elements constituting a nation’s green brand include people's perceptions of:
- The government policies which aim at sustainable development while protecting the environment
- The nation’s human capital endowment – the skills and capacities that reside in its people, aligning with sustainable development objectives
- The country’s exports which refer to the reputation of the country’s products and services that are of good quality and environmentally friendly
- The country’s tourism industry’s attractiveness and whether it is attached to proper environmental practices
- The country’s culture and heritage that are attached to environmental values
- The country’s ability to attract individuals and companies to live, work, study or do business thanks to its reputation in positive environmental practices
Dr Erhan Atay summarised: “This is a brand that may help countries to position themselves as a leader in sustainability, and their products or services are recognised for their respect for the environment and sustainable development.”
Building a green nation’s brand for Vietnam
Experts agreed that Vietnam has made some progress in building a nation’s green brand, but much remains to be done.