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Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tion Brands In­dex 2017, Switzer­land held eighth place, which is the same as its 2016 rank­ing. The re­port was based on the So­ci­ety for Con­sumer Re­search in­sti­tute (GFK), and in­de­pen­dent pol­icy ad­vi­sor Si­mon An­holt’s na­tional brand­ing sur­veys on 50 na­tions.

Switzer­land’s im­age is closely re­lated to its moun­tains. The na­tion’s im­age was greatly af­fected by nat­u­ral phenom­ena and events in 2017 in two main ar­eas. These were cli­mate change re­lated events in Valais, and the land­slides in the town of Bondo,

The col­lapse of the Trift glacier was caused by melt­ing ice, and the bod­ies of dead hik­ers were found in the Tsan­fleu­ron and Hohlaub glaciers. These were man­i­fes­ta­tions of Switzer­land’s ex­po­sure to the cli­mate change. They also high­lighted the coun­try’s risk man­age­ment abil­ity. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties had pre­dicted these dis­as­ters and had taken pre­cau­tions in ad­vance.

Ni­co­las Bideau, pres­i­dent of the Switzer­land Na­tion Brand­ing Com­mit­tee, re­lated, “Moun­tains are sources of in­cred­i­ble sto­ries. They are beau­ti­ful but dan­ger­ous, draw­ing global me­dia at­ten­tion. In 2017, they shaped the im­age of Switzer­land even more.” In ad­di­tion, the vic­to­ries of Swiss pro­fes­sional tennis player Roger Fed­erer, Switzer­land’s po­si­tion as a financial cen­tre, and some of the na­tion’s ref­er­en­dums at­tracted for­eign me­dia at­ten­tion.

Switzer­land’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and di­rect democ­racy were fre­quently re­ported on by both the do­mes­tic and over­seas me­dia be­cause of the ref­er­en­dums. The ref­er­en­dums re­lated to many is­sues, such as bills for re­form­ing cor­po­rate tax­a­tion

(III), sim­pli­fy­ing pro­ce­dures for third­gen­er­a­tion im­mi­grants to ob­tain Swiss cit­i­zen­ship, and the 2050 En­ergy Strategy. Topics about the econ­omy and in­no­va­tion, in­clud­ing Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum and his state visit to Switzer­land, were also re­ported.

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