Presidential Council on Nation Branding, Korea

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Presidential Council on Nation Branding,
Republic of Korea
국가 브랜드 위원회
Agency overview
Formed January 22, 2009
Headquarters Seoul, South Korea
Agency executive
  • Lee Bae-yong, Chairperson
Website Official English Site
Presidential Council on Nation Branding, Korea
Hangul 국가브랜드위원회
Hanja 國家브랜드委員會
Revised Romanization Gukga Beuraendeu Wiwonhoe

The Presidential Council on Nation Branding, Korea 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[1] 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.[2] South Korea's nation brand ranked 17th in 2012, on track to achieving the council's goal of 15th place by 2013.[3]

Background and Objective[edit]

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."[4] 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 value in proportion to its economic power.[5]

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[edit]

Mainly positive view of South Korea (2013 BBC Poll);[6] % change 2010 [7]
 Indonesia 58% Increase 15%
 Ghana 55% Increase 14%
 Nigeria 48% Increase 17%
 United States 47% Increase 1%
 Australia 45% Increase 10%
 China 44% Decrease 14%
 Spain 43% Increase 21%
 United Kingdom 41% Increase 12%
 Chile 40% Decrease 5%
Flag of the Central American Integration System.svg Central America (2010) 39% NR
 Canada 38% Increase 1%
 France 37% Increase 7%
 Kenya 34% Increase 3%
 Russia 34% Increase 6%
 Peru 31% NA
 Poland 31% NA
 Brazil 30% Decrease 8%
 Turkey 30% Increase 13%
 Pakistan 29% Increase 16%
 Mexico 24% Decrease 16%
 Italy (2010) 23% NR
 Azerbaijan (2010) 20% NR
 Egypt 20% Increase 7%
 Greece 18% NA
 Germany 17% Decrease 11%
 India 19% Steady
 Japan 19% Decrease 17%
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.[8] 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.[9]

Vision and strategy[edit]

Under the general motto "Korea, A Loving Embrace" the South 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 South 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.[10]

(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:
- Preventing misuse of government budget through appropriate arbitration of related national projects
- Analytical review of related activities and projects to better the national branding system
(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.[11] 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 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[edit]

  • Chair
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. Namgoong 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. Chun Taeksoo   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.[12]
(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 the Korean language
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.[13]
(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[edit]

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"."

See also[edit]


External links[edit]