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Saturday June 14, 2008

Branding - the next step forward

Malaysian Development Institute (MDI) director Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali said a strong brand would convey to global and domestic investors where the country is heading.” He said a successful nation branding exercise did not necessarily meant having a single brand, but a common brand.

“This means that all our trade promotions, education and financial systems, and all other aspects of the economy are coherent,” he said, adding that many ministries were promoting Malaysia on their own direction and it would be better to pool together all resources and set them on the same path.

Asked whether it meant that corporate culture would be instilled in the civil sector, Dr Noor Azlan said: “In a way, yes”.

He said the notion of nation branding was not new from the economic and business perspective, citing Switzerland and Dubai as examples.

Dr Noor Azlan said as competition had become stiffer as a result of globalisation, Malaysia had also shifted its focus from agriculture to manufacturing and was now moving towards the services sector.

“We want to ensure all layers of society - citizens as well as investors - move in line with the shift. We have moved from the low income to an upper middle-income economy, and we want to continue advancing to become a developed nation by 2020.

“We want everyone to get aboard the speeding train,” he said.

“Economically and politically, we are also quite stable. We can use all these elements to brand Malaysia,” he said.

On June 28, a conference entitled Meeting of Minds: Developing the Malaysia master brand will be organised by the Malay Research and Strategy Foundation, international communications firm Axelera Group and Newsweek International.

The event aims to lay the foundations for the creation of a Malaysia master brand and will feature branding expert Simon Anholt as the keynote speaker.

The Star is the official media partner for the event.

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