Regional trading blocs have taken a centre stage in the global scenario as regional integration is not only improving global trade, but also bilateral relations, said Sheryar Ali Malik, Chairman Regional Standing Committee of FPCCI on Marketing and Brands, Thursday.  He said said the South Aisan Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) helped improve relations among the countries where private sector remained a key player.

He was speaking at a seminar on “Regional Brand power: An effective tool to assist marketing SAARC products in global market”, arranged by SAARC Chamber Young Entrepreneur Forum. He said the concept of common regional market and common regional brand could unite the nations and brand synergy could further help strengthen respective industrial, commercial and financial sectors of the member states. Protection of brands was, however, equally important and could not be overlooked.  About the brand power, he said,” A brand builds its own world and has a fantastic power. The brand supports long term ties with buyers and allows low costs for new entries.” He said leading brands were perceived as symbols of quality.

He said that an established brand had a value to customers and gave them confidence and satisfaction in buying.  He said a regional brand, however, had perceived value much higher than one built by a single country or single company.  Regarding branding in SAARC region, Sheryar Ali Malik said a lot of efforts at government level were in hand to boost trade within SAARC countries that was presently hovering around 7% of the total SAARC trade, which was mush blow the potential.  He said that trade could be enhanced by co-ordinated efforts of all SAARC countries through common regional branding, leading global markets with SAARC brand name.

He said that SAARC brand authority could, therefore, promote and brand SAARC products in the global market with a central branding strategy. He said that as ASEAN had started branding regional products such as Asia Air, SAARC could also go for regional branding of its common products. Readymade garments, automotive filters, shoes etc were the common examples.  Sherhar Ali Malik said in Pakistan, dressing was known to speak the language of the identity that a person holds.  He said there were top class shoes brands, such as BATA, Servis and Stylo.

Likewise, food, fabrics and fashions brands were also equally popular worldwide like Gul Ahmad, Bonanza, Nishat, Guard, Al-Karam. Over 100 businessmen, especially youth from corporate sector of Punjab, attended the seminar.