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Province branding proving to be a headache   2009-09-21 - VietNamNet/TT

Turning their own locality into its own brand is proving to be a challenge for a number of Vietnamese provinces.

 

Mekong Delta

Duong Quoc Xuan, Chairman of Long An People’s Committee isn’t alone in suffering a headache when prepares to receive foreign guests.

 

His problem? He can never work out what gift to give his guests.  What best symbolises his locality?

 

Xuan confides that that he always thinks long and hard about the gifts, but always ends up presenting plates designed with the ‘Long An – the unyielding land’ statue.

 

“Of course, the monument is not a symbol of Long An, and it is also not a brand name of Long An. We know that we need to choose something as the symbol for Long An, which can help people recognise us.

 

“However, we have not found out such a thing,” Xuan said.

 

The deputy chairman of the Tien Giang People’s Committee also complained he couldn’t find any speciality of the province which he could use as a gift when he recently went on business to Cambodia.

 

Finally, in desperation he opted for a popular gift: a lacquer picture of national hero Thu Khoa Huan.

 

He explained that when delegations of foreign politicians made working visits to the province, they always receive such gifts.  Of course, every province wants to have its own symbol, however, they are relying instead on historically significant gifts that hopefully will at least help educate their visitors.

 

In modern times local authorities have become increasingly aware of the importance of building brand names for their areas. Several years ago, Tien Giang province’s authorities launched a large-scale competition to find out the best symbol of Tien Giang.

 

Despite receiving lots of ideas the province still hasn’t found the right symbol, simply because all the suggested ideas could represent not only Tien Giang, but Long An, Vinh Long, Dong Thap provinces as well, and even the whole Mekong Delta.

 

When talking about localities’ brand, Xuan of Long An People’s Committee sighs: “Ben Tre has coconut tree and cocoa. Long An has famous Go Den rice alcohol. But should we use alcohol as gift?”

 

“It is really a pity if someone hears about Long An or another province and they don’t know what its best know for.”

 

Still hopeful, however, Xuan concludes that he believes the brainpower of local people will eventually come up with a solution.

 



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