Creating trade marks for the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's key products is an urgent task since the lack of popular brand names limits their competitiveness, experts have said.

The delta, which leads the country in rice, fruit, and aquaculture output, is home to many specialties like Cho Dao fragrant rice, Lo Ren star apple, and Phu Quoc fish sauce.

But these appellations of origin lack strong brand names to compete in the global market, according to Duong Quoc Xuan, deputy head of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region.

This affects the image and revenues of the delta's producers.

Tran Huu Hiep, head of the committee's Economic Department, said rice, fruits and fisheries products from the delta made up a large part of the country's exports, yet most of them lack strong brand names.

The task of creating brand names for key products with geographical indications and cooperation between the Government, farmers, scientists, and companies had been set in the past but not implemented as hoped, he said.

According to companies and authorities, among the hurdles to developing brand names is that products and services have not been identified while e nterprises do not cooperate with one another.

Hiep said the delta should have a trademark strategy with appropriate policies and coordinated efforts with regard to planning, investment, production, and market connectivity to create strong brands.

"Building brand names for the delta's key products is an urgent task for improving their competiveness at home and abroad," he said.

In enterprises' efforts to build brand names, the responsibilities and rights of participating partners should be identified clearly, Hiep added.

Huynh Truong Vinh, Director of the Hau Giang Province Department of Science and Technology, said the creation of brands would also result in cooperation among the delta's provinces. Now, without such cooperation, when an exporter gets a large order, it cannot fulfil the order since it lacks capacity.

This has also affected the export of Nam Roi grapefruit and Hoa Loc mango, two of the delta's specialties.

According to research by the Vietnam Farmers Association in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Can Tho, if a product has a known brand name, Vietnamese consumers are willing to pay a 10-15 percent premium for it.-VNA