VIENNA, 16 March 2020 – The Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), LI Yong, and the President of the European Brand Institute (EBI), Gerhard Hrebicek, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU reiterating their intention to expand the existing partnership to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
UNIDO and EBI are aiming to develop a long-term relationship to further promote the potential of branding as a tool for inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Cooperation with EBI, whose mission is to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to maximize value and sustainability through sound and innovative brand management, is also in line with UNIDO’s stance on leveraging partnerships with the private sector to enhance the impact of its industrial development interventions.
UNIDO and EBI enjoy a successful track record of cooperation promoting branding as driver of improved competitiveness, value-added and market share among SMEs. Building on the strong foundation laid by the previous joint initiatives, the two parties will continue to identify possibilities for enhanced cooperation aimed at advancing sustainable and inclusive economic development by providing innovative branding solutions within UNIDO technical assistance projects.
EBI’s 25 years of experience in research and evaluation of intangible assets, especially brands, and participation in international standardization, prove that brands are the key to sustainable economic growth and improved competitiveness and are essential to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 development goals (SDGs).
Currently, as part of joint efforts to provide a holistic branding approach tailored to the specific needs of local SMEs, UNIDO and EBI have jointly developed an innovative service module titled, "Branding for competitiveness and sustainable growth" (B4C), offering direct support to UNIDO Member States for enhanced sustainability, productivity and international competitiveness based on a higher value added.
In April 2019, UNIDO and EBI jointly organized the 15th “ICONVIENNA - Brand Global Summit” on the theme “Brands Create Prosperity”, which served as a platform for exchange of innovative branding practices and provided an opportunity for UNIDO to present a series of pilot success story projects from Armenia, Montenegro and Tajikistan, generated by the B4C module. “B4C” has helped to establish umbrella brands that have enhanced productivity, competitiveness and market-access of the local SMEs thereby making a significant contribution to the socio-economic development, jobs and export generation in these countries. For instance, under the UNIDO Project supported 5900BC umbrella brand in Armenia, the beneficiary garment and shoe producer SMEs registered increase in domestic sales by 159%, exports of light industry products in the country more than tripled (+264%), and the turnover tripled (+195%), while employment rates nearly increased by 2.5 times (+146%) and mostly among women. In Tajikistan, since 2016, as a direct result of the UNIDO project, employment at the beneficiary enterprises – that were united and upgraded under the LA’AL textile umbrella brand – increased by 140% (2.4 times), and yearly turnover grew by 68%, while exports and local market sales increased by 106% (more-than-twice) and 66% respectively.
This year, UNIDO and EBI will jointly hold the “Brand Global Summit – 2020” on the theme “Brands for Sustainability” that will leverage the power of branding as a tool to foster Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The major themes of this year’s summit are destination, city and region branding, corporate branding, brand investments for sustainability, brand funds, brands for competitiveness and sustainable growth, brand for innovation and entrepreneurship. The event will be an excellent opportunity to showcase success stories and to share experiences about utilization of branding as an effective solution to support regions to improve the quality of their products, to achieve higher productivity, to diversify and to attract investments. These measures promote competitiveness, grant access to global markets and create additional economic value, new jobs and improve overall quality of life. The event will take place on 29-30 June 2020 in Vienna.
For more information on the joint UNIDO-EBI initiative:
For more information on the Brand Global Summit 2020:
Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation