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Nation Brands Forum 2017 - The Rise of Brand China: Lessons from East and West

09 October 2017, 18:00–21:00 UK Time

The effect of a country’s national image on brands and the economy as a whole is now widely acknowledged. In a global marketplace, nation brand is one of the most important assets of any country, encouraging inward investment, adding value to exports, attracting tourists and skilled immigrants.

The beginning of the 21st century has witnessed the rise of China as an economic and political power. The country has become the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter, and the largest economy by purchasing power. China’s economic growth has in turn bolstered its political standing. With the leaders of the United States and Europe pursuing increasingly inward-looking agendas, China is seizing the moment to take on a global leadership role it has aspired to for a long time. In a virtuous circle, the transformed national image of China is reinforcing Chinese brands and the country’s attractiveness to investors and tourists.

Compared to Asia, the West is in stagnation. However, Italy and some European nation brands, that many considered unable of making a full recovery after the troubles of the Eurozone Crisis, have implemented necessary reforms and are now growing at double-digit rates. It is one thing to build growth, another to sustain it, and something yet different to recover after a blow. East and West have a lot to learn from their respective experiences.

One of the most successful nation brands in Europe, Italy has built its reputation on the distinctive style of its luxury brands, such as Ferrari and Gucci, as well as on the delicious cuisine and relaxed character of its people. In this way, the Italian nation brand appeals to a multitude of audiences and supports a variety of industries. If China wants to maintain its impressive growth, it may have to absorb some of that European charisma, which alongside efficiency accentuates also individualism. Now, the Belt and Road Initiative can be key to East-West exchange just as the ancient Silk Route, made famous by the Italian, Marco Polo, had been in the past.

As well as presenting an opportunity to explore the findings of this year’s research in more detail, including the rise of ’brand China’ and the resilience of ‘brand Italy’, the Nation Brands Forum 2017 will offer practical insights on how to manage nation brand value.

Join us as we discuss this fascinating topic at a critical time.



18:00- 18:30 Drinks Reception

The Lounge, Brand Exchange

18:30 - 18:40 Presentation of Findings

Alex Haigh, Director, Brand Finance

18:40 - 18:55 Nation Brands and FDI

Courtney Fingar, Editor-In-Chief, fDi Magazine

18:55 - 19:10 Italy: The Nation Brand

Stefano Nigro, FDI Department Director, Italian Trade Agency

19:10 - 19:25  The Rise of China Inc

Sir Tom Troubridge, Chairman, China Business Group, PwC

19:25 - 20:00 Panel Discussion and Q & A

Moderated by Konrad Jagodzinski,

Senior Communications Manager, Brand Finance

20:00 - 21:00 Networking Drinks

The Lounge, Brand Exchange

09 October 2017, 18:00–21:00 UK Time
to be notified of future events


Alex Haigh
Technical Director
Brand Finance Plc

Alex is a technical specialist in the use of market research and brand valuation for transfer pricing and has completed the Advance Diploma in International Tax, with a specialisation in Transfer Pricing.

His other area of expertise has been the assessment on the return on investment of different brand architecture and brand positioning options. Much of this experience has focussed on identifying the brand structures, media investment, media mix and distribution channel management needed to minimise risk and maximise opportunity from any brand changes.

Working on clients across the Brand Finance Footprint including North America, Argentina, most of Europe, South Africa, Kenya, most of the Middle East, China, Singapore and Australia.

Courtney Fingar
fDi Intelligence

Courtney Fingar is the editor-in-chief of fDi Magazine, a specialist publication from the Financial Times, and the head of content for its associated data division, fDi Intelligence. In her role she oversees all elements of editorial production for the bimonthly magazine and its website, as well as editorial outputs for fDi Intelligence.  She is also the presenter for the ‘fDi On Location’ video series.

A trained journalist, she interviews political and business leaders at the highest levels about economic and investment issues, and has covered business stories in all major regions of the world. She is a popular panellist and moderator at international economic gatherings and has appeared on television and radio in dozens of countries as a commentator on international investment.

Before joining fDi in 2004, she served as the editor of Trade & Forfaiting Review, a London-based magazine focusing on trade finance. She worked previously in Washington, DC.



Sir Tom Troubridge
Chairman of China Business Group

Sir Tom is Chairman of the China Business Group (CBG) for the PwC UK firm. He is also a Vice Chairman (and Chairman of the audit committee) of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), a 60-year old trade body partly funded by the UK government, which helps UK companies set up business in China. CBG is the Group responsible for looking after PwC’s Chinese clients based in the UK and relationships with other stakeholders such as the Chinese Embassy in London, the Department of International Trade and trade associations connected with China. He visits China two to three times a year for either PwC or CBBC, most recently attending President Xi’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in mid May 2017.

Stefano Nigro
FDI Department Director
Italian Trade Agency (ITA)

Stefano is the newly appointed Director of the Foreign Direct Investment Department at the Italian Trade Agency (ITA). ITA acts on behalf of the Italian Government to promote FDI to Italy and to support foreign investors. He has 10 years of experience in investment promotion. Before joining ITA, he was the Head of the Investment Promotion Department in the Lombardy Region, the main business area in Italy, accounting for 20% of the Italian GDP and hosting more than 60% of foreign companies in the country. He was previously involved in strategic and operational consultancy. He holds an M.Sc. in Economics from Warwick University.

Konrad Jagodzinski
Communications Director
Brand Finance

Konrad is the Communications Director of Brand Finance and leads the Brand Dialogue team as Managing Director.

Konrad has a proven track record in delivering integrated PR campaigns, and is responsible for reports, press releases, media relations, and engagement with client press offices across the Brand Finance Group. He combines experience of leading day-to-day operations of a press office with developing and executing campaigns that make use of traditional as well as digital media tools. He manages the creation and promotion of Brand Finance’s nearly 100 annual sector and country reports on the world’s most valuable brands. He has experience in geographic branding as well as public diplomacy strategy and execution from his time at the Polish Embassy in London.

Konrad studied European Studies (MA) at King’s College London and the Humboldt University in Berlin, and International Relations with Political Science (BA) at the University of Birmingham.


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