His Excellency Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay launched the Brand Bhutan initiative on 1st February 2016, Monday at Hotel Taj Tashi, Thimphu. The launching event was also attended by the Hon’ble Minister for Ministry of Economic Affairs Norbu Wangchuk, Hon’ble Minister for Works and Human Settlement Dorji Choden, the Resident Representative of UNDP, Senior Government Officials, representative from other international organizations and NGOs, representatives from private sectors, and officials from the Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The work on Brand Bhutan was initiated way back in early 2006 by the Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs. The work started with a feasibility study with financial support of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) who deputed Mr. Simon Anholt to undertake the study. Mr. Simon is the founder and champion of the Nation Branding and Place Branding. His study found that Bhutan, under the wise and farsighted leadership of the Kings, is well positioned to develop a nation brand strategy given its pristine environment, rich biodiversity, traditional culture that is still thriving in today modern age, and above all, the noble concept of the Gross National Happiness that has received much attention and appreciation from the global community. Subsequently, a series of consultations with the stakeholders and related studies were carried out. The Brand Bhutan, which is being launched today, is the outcome of the Strategy document prepared by the Department of Trade with generous financial assistance of the UNDP.
The Brand Bhutan initiative is part of export development strategy initiated by the Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs. It is one of the key strategies to harness economic opportunities and build productive capacity. The importance and the need of Brand Bhutan is well articulated in the Economic Development Policy, 2010. With Bhutan’s gradual integration into the global economic fabric, trade has become increasingly significant for overall socio-economic development of Bhutan. Increasing youth unemployment in the country and growing gap between rich and poor has made trade even more important as a key instrument in addressing such national issues. Over the years, trade has transformed significantly from an inward looking policy to a more liberal and investment friendly regime. It will continue to expand and grow further with more and more bilateral, regional and multilateral trading agreements being signed. In order to keep pace with all these developments, and the urgency for the need to boost our export, promote tourism and inward investment for the economic progress of the country makes it clear the relevance and timely introduction of Brand Bhutan.
The Brand Bhutan is more than just a logo. It is a powerful asset that should be embraced and protected by everyone who works with it. Endeavoring to build a positive future for our nation and people, the Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs have developed one strong and unified country brand for our country which can be leveraged across all sectors and industries moving forward. The Brand Bhutan identity is represented by a word-mark “BHUTAN” with unique font typography, colour palette and patterns.
It is closely tied to the full spectrum of factors that impact decisions to invest, trade, visit and engage – from values and quality of life, to economy and culture. However, despite being steeped in rich history, culture and stunning natural beauty, Bhutan’s brand attributes are relatively unknown on the global stage. There is an incredible opportunity to further define and articulate what makes Bhutan and its products and services so unique and impactful. Thus, the Brand Bhutan ‘Made in’ Strategy & Visual Identity has been developed with a view to promote Bhutan to the outside world: increasing demand for Bhutanese products and services, including investment and tourism, and to promote exports, and add premium to the goods and services that are produced and/ or originate in Bhutan. The Brand Bhutan will also facilitate many sector-specific brands in future that will assist exporters in achieving the targets and getting due recognition.