HFM-World Marketing Summit

Speech by Hon'ble Foreign Minister Dr. DipuMoni, M.P. at the Opening of the World Marketing Summit
Dhaka, 01 Mar 2012

Hon'ble Prime Minister,
Secretary General of UNCTAD Dr. SupachaiPanitchpakdi,
Professor Philip Kotler,
Hon'ble Ministers,
Distinguished Members of Parliament,
Distinguished speakers,
Friends from the media,
Ladies & Gentlemen

Good Morning!

Let me join the preceding speakers in welcoming you all at the launching ceremony of the World Marketing Summit. It is certainly an honour and a proud privilege for Bangladesh to hosting such a global initiative at its launching. I take this opportunity to congratulate and thank Professor Philip Kotler for conceiving this new forum to discuss marketing toward sustainable and human development. His lead, I am sure, would inspire many thinkers and practitioners of marketing and development.

I thank the UNCTAD Secretary General for his presence in Dhaka and for his thoughtful remarks. Let me put on record our sincerest appreciation to all distinguished speakers who have gathered here from home and abroad. I am confident that you would enrich the deliberations and would help chart the way forward.

Distinguished participants,

We live in a fast changing globalised world today. It has gone through many crises in recent years. They have had tremendous impact on hard-earned developmental gains in many of the marginalized countries. They have also negatively impacted attainment of internationally agreed goals like the Millennium Development Goals in countless number of developing countries. Even in the developed world, we see accentuating inequality in societies and they are also challenged with huge distortions in the market, contributing to increasing deprivation of people.

Income poverty, human development deficit and social exclusion are everywhere, irrespective of location and level of development. Then, we have challenges emanating from rapid and slow on-set climate phenomenon that are stressing natural endowments and human resilience. In a way, they are also formenting dissatisfaction, intolerance, extremism and insecurity. They immensely compound our difficulties. Individually and collectively, they present a whole set of new and multifaceted challenges that the traditional way of thinking and policy making is finding difficult to address. In spite of numerous global initiatives and responses on development, it appears that there exists a clear vacuum in the policy making sphere as to how to approach the issues of sustainable and inclusive development. The situation demands us to reflect seriously on the gaps and act differently to respond to them.

It is in this context, I see huge role of marketing as a tool for changing individual, group, social and market behavior. As we speak today, globalization provides us with an opportunity to reconceptualise business and marketing beyond their traditional approaches and scopes. But it is not very simple. As we seek to add value in all production processes, enhance customer satisfaction and ensure well-being of people, we have to factor in all related factors, where technology also plays a pivotal role. Here, we must not forget that the interaction of factors is as much an issue of economics as it is an issue of behavioural science. Marketing, being a multi-dimensional discipline, can perhaps fill in some of the gaps, as it can shape production relations as well as attitude and ideology of people. Hence, this meeting of minds in Dhaka has the prospect of influencing the overall focus of the discipline of Marketing itself.
In this World Marketing Summit, we expect the best of minds in the business world, academia, media and polity to examine these complex challenges through the prism of Marketing and try to find out whether it can help shape our policies, priorities and above all our attitudes. I hope the new forum of the World Marketing Summit will help envision a global order that optimizes utilization of resources, minimizes wastage, reduces inequity, but maximizes value, utility and satisfaction.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We in Bangladesh are resolved to becoming a middle income country by the next decade, as reflected in the Vision 2021 of the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This inspires us to address the challenges of food and nutritional security and access to shelter, health and education as we seek to secure human development and social inclusion, beyond economic growth. The themes identified are therefore very pertinent for a developing country like Bangladesh. The inputs and ideas generated through the WMS can help us, the politicians and policy makers in particular, around the globe to shape societies based on fairness, equity and mutual benefit.
We are happy that Dhaka witnesses the commencement of a dialogue for creating a better world that will not remain confined to discussions. The recommendations and solutions arising out of the Dhaka Summit and its successive meetings would be tested in real life situations through incubators. Once found doable, they would be replicated and upscaled. In this process, the WMS is expected to contribute to the global thinking on what should be our targets, goals, approaches and strategies as we think of successors for the Millennium Development Goals.

There is a likelihood of the WMS returning to Bangladesh periodically. The selection of Bangladesh, I believe, is a reflection of the trust and confidence of Professor Kotler as well as the global community in Bangladesh’s potentials and its firm determination to overcome its developmental challenges. We will certainly try to support the WMS in all possible ways and to work closely with all of you to transform the WMS as a truly effective global conclave. I am certain that the World Marketing Summit would remain close to Bangladesh's agenda of work. I am sure that Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would inspire us with her invaluable thoughts as we collectively reflect on the future of marketing. I look forward to her kind reflections on how marketing could work as a driver and a catalytic agent for a much needed change so that developmental policies and strategies ensure people's well-being and markets mainstream the concerns of the consumers.

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I conclude, let me record our deep appreciation to various government entities for extending all out support to the World Marketing Summit Company Limited towards organizing this event. It has been a privilege for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be associated with the Summit from the beginning and to have steered the work on behalf of the government.

I wish all the stakeholders of this noble initiative Godspeed and the Summit a grand success. I am convinced that the WMS will help us focus towards building a just and responsible order involving national, regional and global markets and equitable societies.

I thank you all.