Presidential Council on Nation Branding, Korea
국가 브랜드 위원회
|Formed||January 22, 2009|
|Headquarters||Seoul, S. Korea|
|Agency executive||Lee Bae-yong, Chairperson|
|Website||Official English Site|
The Presidential Council on Nation Branding, Korea (Hangul: 국가브랜드위원회) was established on January 22, 2009 by Executive Decree 21283 with the objective to promote Korea’s global image; to right misconceptions about Korea, its culture, its products, and its people; and to raise respect for Korea so as to support Korean businesses and nationals abroad through governmental initiated strategies and policies. The council lies under the direct control and authority of the President of South Korea, Park Geun Hye.
The country has made significant gains since the launch of the council in 2009 and it was dismantled by the new administration in 2013 as South Korea achieved a nation brand above the OECD average, overtaking countries like Spain, Finland and Ireland, while approaching that of New Zealand with Norway and Italy to be surpassed in the next couple of years. South Korea's nation brand ranked 17th in 2012, on track to achieving the council's goal of 15th place by 2013.
Background and Objective
According to the Simon Anholt Report, nation branding refers to “how a country is seen by others.” Other conceptualizations define nation branding as “strategic self-presentation of a country with the aim of creating reputational capital through economic, political, and social interest promotion at home and abroad.” National brand today reflects the image of a country (soft power) more than its military or economic influence (hard power) in the international world. Strong national brand translates into high respect and acceptance of that country by the international community. To assess Korea’s current positioning and seek ways to improve and strengthen national brand in and out of Korea, governmental efforts continue.
The so-called “Korea discount” phenomenon seems to reoccur amid some foreign media’s distrust and distorted reports about the Korean economy. Now it is appropriate for the government to embark on a nation branding campaign to upgrade Korea’s brand vale in proportion to its economic power.
The goal of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding is to raise Korea’s brand from near the bottom of the member states of the OECD to the middle of the bloc (13 out of 31 countries) by 2013.
Current Status of Korean National Brand
|Mainly positive view of South Korea (2013 BBC Poll); % change 2010 |
|Central America (2010)||39%||NR|
|NA = Data not available in 2010
NR = Country not ranked in 2013
South Korea has been making substantial gains since the launch of the council, moving up to 26th in 2011 in the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index from a rank of 29th in 2010 and 32nd in 2008. The index does not publish results for South Korea since 2012.
In a similar nation brand index that the Presidential Council on Nation Branding developed with Samsung Economic Research Institute, South Korea moved up to 17th in 2012 from 19th in 2010 and 20th in 2009. Backed by the world's most watched YouTube video in history, Gangnam Style and hit products from Samsung, the world's largest information technology company, for the first time, the country surpassed the average of the OECD in 2012, overtaking countries like Spain, Finland and Ireland, while approaching that of New Zealand with Norway and Italy to be surpassed in the next couple of years.
Vision and Strategy
Under the general motto “Korea, A Loving Embrace” the Korean government aims in developing its country as a contributing nation with respected people and global corporations, and a caring society that promotes togetherness.
As its main goal, the Presidential Council on Nation Branding aims in (1) achieving national brand at the OECD average level and (2) entry of the Korean national brand as world top 15 by 2013.
Strategies to implement its goals include, (1) accumulating national capacity through cooperation amongst the people, corporations, and government, (2) managing national brand by establishing a master plan and developing brand index, (3) pursuing customized policies in accordance to the needs of different sectors, and (4) creating a national brand motivating force through the expansion of a common national response.
The Presidential Council on Nation Branding emphasizes on the following five strategic areas to increase national brand value: (1) Contribution to the international community, (2) embrace of multiculturalism and consideration for foreigners, (3) cultivation of global citizenship, (4) advertisement of modern technology and products, and (5) promotion of an attractive culture and tourism.
Three main functions of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding include: (1) General control tower on nation branding related issues of the Korean government, (2) Effective execution of nation branding policies and related projects, and (3) Strengthening and expanding public-private partnerships as well as encouraging the participation of Korean nationals in nation branding activities.
- (1) General control tower on nation branding related issues
- - Proposing mid- to long-term visions and strategies
- - Establishing mid- to long-term goals and setting up annual plans, reviews, and modifications in achieving those goals
- (2) Effective execution of nation branding policies and related projects:
- (3) Strengthening and expanding public-private partnerships as well as encouraging the participation of Korean nationals
- - Developing new ideas and policies through suggestions made by Korean nationals
- - Locating and awarding model cases that have contributed to the increase of national brand
The Council was led by its second Chairperson, Lee Bae-yong from September 28, 2010. She was the President of Ewha Womans University. The first was Yoon-Dae Euh who had to leave the post after becoming the Chairman of KB Financial Group Inc. on June 2010. The former Chairperson Euh was former President of Korea University (2003~2006), Vice Chair of the National Economic Advisory Council, Chairman of Advisory Board of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Policy Advisor for the Foreign Affairs and Trade (1993~2004).
Under the Chairperson, the Head of the Secretariat plans and carries out the activities of the Council, which is supported by five teams including international cooperation, corporate and information technology, culture and tourism, the global community and overall coordination. A 19-member working-level body will assist the panel.
The council consists of 47 members (34 appointed members and 13 ex officio members) as well as an international advisory forum of 34 members. The 34 appointed members are experts and CEOs of some of Korea’s corporate icons (Samsung, SK Group, Korean Air, and Hyundai). The secretariat of the council carries out administrative related tasks to support the activities of the council.
Members of the Council include the following:
Members of the Council
- Ms. Lee Bae-yong Presidential Council on Nation Branding
- Ex-Officio Members
- Mr. Ahn Byong Man Minister of Education, Science and Technology
- Mr. Cho Hwan Eik President & CEO of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency
- Mr. Choi See joong Chairman of Korea Communications Commission
- Mr. Chung Jong hwan Minister of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs
- Mr. Kim Kyung han Minister of Justice
- Mr. Kwon Tae shin Minister of the Prime Minister's Office
- Mr. Lee Dal kon Minister of Public Administration and Security
- Mr. Lee Youn Ho Minister of Knowledge Economy
- Mr. Lee Cham President of the Korea Tourism Organization
- Mr. Oh Se-hoon Mayor of Seoul
- Mr. Park Hyung jun Senior Officer to the President for Public Relations
- Mr. Park Dae Won President of Korea International Cooperation Agency
- Mr. Park Jae wan Senior Secretary to the President for State Affairs Planning
- Mr. Yoon Jeung Hyun Minister of Strategy and Finance
- Mr. Yu Myung hwan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Mr. Yu In Chon Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism
- Appointed Members
- Mr. Cha Yoon Ho Professor of Joongbu University
- Mr. Cheong Young Rok Professor of Seoul National University
- Mr. Cho Byung Lyang Professor of Hanyang University
- Mr. Cho Kuy Ha President & CEO of CSK Investment Korea
- Ms. Choi Jung hwa Professor of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
- Mr. Chung Tae Young President & CEO of Hyundai Capital & Card
- Mr. Han Choong Min Professor of Hanyang University
- Mr. Jo Jung Yul Professor of Sookmyung Women's University
- Mr. Kim Mun Cho Professor of Korea University
- Mr. Kim Won Yong Professor of Ewha Womans University
- Mr. Kim You Kyung Professor of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
- Mr. Kim Jeong Tak Professor of Sungkyunkwan University
- Mr. Kim Hyung Suk Professor of Woosong University
- Mr. Kim Hyung Joon Professor of Myongji University
- Mr. Samuel Koo President & CEO of Seoul Tourism Marketing
- Mr. Lee Soon Dong President of Samsung Volunteers Corps
- Mr. Lee Doo Hee Professor of Korea University
- Mr. Lee Jong Hee President & CEO of Korean Air
- Mr. Myung Seung Soo Professor of Catholic University of Daegu
- Mr. Nam goong Yon President of Studio FAT
- Mr. No Kyu Hyung President of Research & Research
- Mr. Oh Mahn Seug Professor of the Academy of Korean Studies
- Mr. Oh Nam Soo President of Kumho Asiana Group
- Ms. Park Jae Ok Professor of Hanyang University
- Ms. Park Soon Ae Professor of Seoul National University
- Mr. Park Young Ho President & CEO of SK Holdings
- Mr. Ryu Tae Geon Professor of Bukyung University
- Amb. Suh Dae-Won Counselor of Hyundai Rotem
- Mr. Suh Koo Won Professor of Hanyang Cyber University
- Mr. Yoon Eun Key President of Seoul School of Integrated Sciences and Technologies
- International Advisory Forum Members
- Mr. Ahmed A. Al-Subaey Representative Director and CEO, [S-OIL|S-OIL Corporation]
- Mr. James Bemowski Vice Chairman and CEO, Doosan Corporation
- Mr. Simon Bureau President and CEO, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea
- Mr. Taeksoo Chun Secretary General, Korean National Commission for UNESCO
- Mr. Kuk-Lok Chung Vice President and CEO, Arirang TV
- Mr. Tom Coyner Consultant, Soft Landing Consulting
- Mr. Roland Davies Director, the British Council Korea
- Mr. Robert Dencher Country Chairman, Shell Pacific Enterprise
- Mr. Ray Frawley President, McDonald’s Korea
- Mr. Wei Han Korea CEO, Bank of China
- Mr. Michael Hellback Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Seoul Brand
- Mr. Michael W. Hurt Digital Media Producer, Turtle Boat Media
- Mr. Lucio Izzo Director, Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul
- Ms. Amy Jackson President, American Chamber of Commerce in Korea
- Ms. Laure Coudret Laut Cultural Counselor of French Embassy, Director of the French Cultural Center
- Mr. Joon Ho Lee President, Traffic Broadcasting System
- Mr. Kwon Lee Attorney, Kim & Chang
- Mr. Frank R. Little President, 3M Korea
- Mr. N’Kumu Frey Lungula Saemaul Consultant
- Ms. Linda Myers Head of Global Talent Management Office, Vice President of SK Holdings
- Ms. Suzanna Samstag Oh Vice President, Friends of Korea
- Ms. Dong Eun Park Executive Director, Korean Committee for UNICEF
- Mr. John Early Petersen Distinguished Visiting Professor, Yonsei University
- Mr. Philip Raskin President, Burson-Marsteller Korea
- Mr. Werner Sasse Professor, Hanyang University
- Mr. Koji Shibata President and CEO, Marubeni Korea Corporation
- Ms. Taeko Takahashi Minister, Public Information and Cultural Center
- Mr. Alan Timblick Head, the Seoul Global Center
- Mr. Peter Walshaw President and General Manager, Grand Hyatt Seoul
- Mr. Raimund Wördmann Director, the Goethe-Institut Korea
- Mr. Sung Joon Yim President, Korea Foundation
There are ten main activities promoted by the Presidential Council on Nation Branding: (1) Shaping the Future with Korea, (2) Campus World: Global Korea Scholarship, Campus Asia, (3) Korean Supporters, (4) Global Korean Network, (5) Promoting Korean and Taekwondo, (6) Global Citizenship,(7) Advanced Technology & Design Korea, (8) Rainbow Korea, (9) Friendly Digital Korea, (10) Korea Brand Index.
- (1) Shaping the Future with Korea
- This project includes strategic economic cooperation with developing and underdeveloped countries by passing down the Korean development experience. The project aims in expanding the Economic Hallyu (or Korean movement) worldwide.
- (2) Campus World : Global Korea Scholarship, Campus Asia
- This project supports international students with scholarships to establish a group of scholars amicable to Korea. The project also promotes student exchange programs between Asian universities to promote mutual understanding and interaction amongst future leaders in the Asian region.
- (3) Korean Supporters "World Friends Korea"
- The government of Korea unified the government initiated international volunteer services under a new brand, “World Friends Korea.”The synergy increase is expected through strategic linkage between governmental agencies and departments. Korean Supporters aims at raising global outstanding individuals and national awareness through strengthening volunteer services capacity and enhancing national participation.
- The program will dispatch over 3,000 volunteers overseas every year, the second largest after some 8,000 from the United States.
- Korea’s foreign assistance policy is World Friends Korea, roughly equivalent to the U.S. Peace Corps. The Presidential Council on Nation Branding will play a coordinating role through its oversight of the various volunteer programs that government agencies have traditionally operated. Volunteers will be tasked with promoting Korea’s culture and food around the world as well as working in areas such as information technology, education, and the environment.
- (4) Global Korean Network
- This project aims in binding 7 million overseas Koreans into a single network. Capacity building of overseas Koreans and strengthening ties with their mother country, Korea may possibly bring in contributions to increasing brand value of Korea.
- (5) Promoting Korean
- This project includes establishing a Korean language e-learning system and increase knowledge of the Korean language through unifying Korean learning institutes as a single brand.
- In October 2009, the Korean administration announced its plan to set up 150 Korean-language schools, called the King Sejong Institute, overseas by 2015 as part of efforts to promote cultural exchanges. The schools will play a central role in globalizing the Korean alphabet or Hangul, as well as providing information about the country.
- (6) Promoting Taekwondo
- This project aims in branding Taekwondo as a prestigious and internationally recognized sport. Through Taekwondo, the council wishes to introduce Korean culture and spiritual value and develop cultural contents and tourist products. The council will also assist in systemizing Taekwondo academies abroad.
- (7) Global Citizenship
- This project is a hospitality campaign towards foreigners either living or visiting Korea. The project will assist Korean nationals in raising global etiquette and internet ethics.
- (8) Advanced Technology & Design Korea:
- This project includes positioning the best quality products made in Korea as “Premium Korea” and publicize Korean luxuries through these products.
- (9) Rainbow Korea
- This project aims in assisting multicultural families to become healthy members of the Korean society. Infrastructure and economic assistance toward multicultural families in Korea are to be provided through this project.
- (10) Friendly Digital Korea
- Friendly Digital Korea is a project utilizing broadcasting technology and infrastructure to enhance communication with the international world. Through this project, the council aims in creating an accessible image of Korea by the international community and communicate better with the international world through various contents.
- (11) Korea Brand Index
- Managing a general national brand index by developing indexes of brand related activities from each government agency.
The future works of the Council include establishing general vision and strategies in implementing and managing its activities, establishing a feedback system to have proper knowledge of each activity’s implementation process, enhance public-private partnership and encourage participation of Korean nationals, and suggest and cooperate in revising policies and laws related to branding activities.
Advanced Technology and Design Korea
Project Advanced Technology and Design Korea, sponsored by KOTRA, the Presidential Council on Nation Branding, and the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, this project aims itself to be the go to place in order to find information about Korea’s most innovative technology, design and business. Its mission is to break past stereotypes and shed the old image that the world may have of Korea and uncover the colorful and future-forward quality of the advancements that are hidden within this nation.
The total amount of money spent annually on global branding by separate organizations will reach 100 billion won ($74 million) fund branding campaigns at home and abroad. The council itself has an annual budget of 8 billion won ($5.8 million)
"Because governments around the world have embraced nation branding only within the past few years, as yet few if any templates or models of best practice exist for other nations to follow. Korea may establish such best practice through its current initiatives if the present momentum can be sustained."
"One of the major challenges that Korean policymakers have set for themselves is to reduce or even eliminate the so-called Korea discount, which refers to the belief that the "Made in Korea" marquee carries less prestige and status than other countries of origin such as "Made in Japan" or "Made in Germany"."
- G.Szondi, “Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding: Conceptual Similarities and Differences,” in Discussion Papers in Diplomacy (Copenhagen: Netherlands Institute of International Relations, 2008), 5
- Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index Ranking excludes Scotland.
- Keith, Dinnie, “Repositioning the Korea Brand to a Global Audience: Challenges, Pitfalls, and Current Strategy,” Korea Economic Institute Academic Paper Series, Volume 4, Number 9 (2009)
- Presidential Council on Nation Branding
- Presidential Council on Nation Branding Opens, Korea Times, January 22, 2009
- Promotion of Korea's Nation Brand, JoongAng Ilbo, March 24, 2009
- South Korea's non-stop Nation Banding Programme, Nation Branding
- KEI's Academic Paper Series, Korea Economic Institute
- Korea Focus
- Nation Branding: Everything about Nation Branding and Country Brands