KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 -- Malaysia has to seriously think of the country's brand to promote exports, attract investments, talents, tourists and global goodwill in the world, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.
He said a strong and positive country brand had the ability to create a national competitive advantage and economic value.
" The new economic model that will be incorporated in the 10th Malaysia Plan will place Malaysia on a footing for us to embark on a process of unprecedented transformation," he said in his opening address at Superbrands Award here.
Ahmad Husni said the move would highlight the country's economic and socio-cultural value propositions to the world and position Malaysia as a compelling destination for businesses and investments.
He said US$1.2 trillion in global foreign direct investment (FDI) flow was projected for the entire 2009, representing a near 30 per cent reduction from the previous year. Tourist arrivals are projected to decline to 8.2 per cent worldwide over the same period, he said.
" With this in mind, Malaysia requires a brand that is able to project its assets strongly and forcefully," he said.
Ahmad Husni said Malaysia must continue to promote its brands that has competitive competencies abroad such as Islamic finance, halal products and services and information and communications technology.
" It is my hope that Malaysian products do incorporate in their brands a unique set of quality and values that can readily be associated with this country, just as German, Japanese and American products do.
" There may be a time when a consumer abroad would purchase a Malaysian product primarily on the strength of the "Made-in-Malaysia" label," he said. Ahmad Husni said manufacturers also need to be mindful of their products meet at least the minimum global standards.
Later, the Minister presented Superbrands Award to 100Plus and Sony, which took the top two spots, trailed by Internet search engine, Google, in third place.
Gardenia, in seventh place, was the highest ranked home-grown brand and the only local brand to make it to Top 10.