The first City Nation Place Asia Pacific Forum brought together delegates from Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Tasmania, Thailand and The Philippines, to discuss the opportunities and the challenges for place branding and place marketing across the region. We were fortunate to have two important new reports launched at the Forum: Bloom Consulting announced the Digital Cities Asia Index and J Walter Thompson launched the China Outbound study, exploring the next wave of Chinese tourism trends.

On May 17th, City Nation Place gathered delegates from across the Asian and Pacific regions to discuss the challenges facing place branding and place marketing in their countries. The delegates represented a wide range of organisations, all at different stages of developing a place branding strategy; check out the Post-Event Report for more information on the conference and an incisive commentary on both developing and established placebranding stories in the Asia Pacific region.

We would like to thank our hosts, the Lee Kuan School of Public Policy, without whom we would not have been able to convene this event. We would also like to thank our organising partner, Inclusive Citymaking Solutions, and our supporting partners: BBC, Bloom Consulting, Conway, and The New York Times.

We look forward to announcing plans for a second City Nation Place Forum for the Asia region – watch this space!

We’re grateful to the Brand Tasmania Council, delegates at the City Nation Place Asia conference, for taking the time to dig deeper in to the speaker contributions and creating this longer-watch video which provides some really useful nuggets of advice and education. Topics covered include:

  • What we mean by place branding and what potential there is to drive economic development through a place brand strategy
  • Public diplomacy challenges and approaches for the modern age
  • What structures and organisations best support and guide the brand
  • How to create and communicate your place brand narrative

Thanks also to the contributors:

Jose Filipe Torres, CEO of Bloom Consulting

Nancy Snow, Pax Mundi Professor of Public Diplomacy, Kyoto University

Anupam Yog, Founder & Director, Inclusive Citymaking Solutions

Alistair McEwan,SVP Commercial Development, BBC World News

Rebecca Smith, Director, New Zealand Story

Marcus Osborne, Co Owner, Fusionbrand

The City Nation Place line-up reinstated the Asia Pacific region, as the centre for cutting-edge initiatives and innovative case-studies, leading to stimulating discussions and new networking opportunities and collaborations globally

Vilma Jurkute, Director Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

Here’s what a sample of delegates took away from the day:

  • “A values based nation branding strategy will endure the test of time beyond logos and campaigns” - Fiona de Jong, AGM Nation Brand, Austrade
  • “City branding and placemaking is a dynamic, ever-changing field that is becoming increasingly important” - Peter Hyland, Regional Director, Cistri PTE
  • “City vs Nation branding – which one comes first depends on the Nation’s reputation” - Connie Chan, Executive Director, WPP Government & Public Sector Practice


The Asia Pacific region is set for more growth with developing countries and cities in the region vying for their share of investment, revenue, and people. Hosting CNP in this region is an exciting milestone and important opportunity for us all to share and learn from our combined experiences in place branding, marketing, reputation management and country/city positioning.

Rebecca Smith, Director, The New Zealand Story