US re­gains ‘top na­tion brand’ po­si­tion from Ger­many

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Af­ter be­ing pushed off the num­ber one po­si­tion last year by Ger­many, the USA has this year taken back its po­si­tion at the top of the An­holt-GfK Roper Na­tion Brands In­dex (NBI). UK, in third place, edges closer to the top and is fol­lowed by France. Fur­ther down the rank­ing, Ukraine and Rus­sia achieve large rep­u­ta­tion gains, while Greece stands alone in suf­fer­ing a steep drop.

The study mea­sures global per­cep­tions of 50 de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries - and is un­matched in the level of de­tail on which the na­tion rank­ing is judged. The study asks ques­tions about 23 dif­fer­ent na­tional at­tributes, which are then com­bined into six over­all di­men­sions on which the na­tional im­age is based. Those are: ex­ports, gov­er­nance, cul­ture, peo­ple, tourism and im­mi­gra­tion/in­vest­ment.

“This year’s re­sults stand as a re­minder that, al­though the im­ages of coun­tries are in­cred­i­bly stable, changes can and do take place - par­tic­u­larly when peo­ple around the world sense that coun­tries are con­tribut­ing no­tice­ably more or less to hu­man­ity and the planet. It’s their per­ceived im­pact on the world that af­fects coun­tries’ rep­u­ta­tion far more than their as­sets or achieve­ments,” said Pro­fes­sor Si­mon An­holt, the in­de­pen­dent pol­icy ad­vi­sor who cre­ated the Na­tion Brands In­dex in 2005.

“De­spite its con­tin­ued per­ceived lead­er­ship in Europe, Ger­many has fallen back to sec­ond place, largely as a re­sult of los­ing the gains it made last year. On top of that, Ger­many also lost ground on ‘gov­er­nance’ (which in­cor­po­rates both in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic be­hav­iours) fol­low­ing its high-pro­file stance on Euro­pean chal­lenges such as im­mi­gra­tion and strug­gling Eu­ro­zone economies. In par­tic­u­lar, Rus­sia’s per­cep­tions of Ger­many’s gov­er­nance dropped sig­nif­i­cantly, fol­low­ing Ger­many’s sup­port of anti-Rus­sian sanc­tions.”

The rest of the top ten rank­ing re­mains in the same or­der as last year, but with cer­tain na­tions con­tin­u­ing to close in on the one ahead.

UK, steady in third place, has moved closer to the top na­tions and is fol­lowed by France in fourth and Canada in fifth. Ja­pan and Italy, who hold sixth and sev­enth places, re­spec­tively, also showed stronger than av­er­age per­for­mance, in­creas­ing the pres­sure on the top five na­tions.

Greece, a na­tion fac­ing chronic eco­nomic is­sues, strug­gles to main­tain its im­age, with no­table falls across all in­dices. This means that it has slipped one place to 21st po­si­tion in the over­all rank­ing, while Brazil moves up to 20th.

Look­ing out­side the top 20 na­tions, both Rus­sia and Ukraine have seen im­pres­sive gains on all six in­dices that make up the over­all NBI rank­ing. Rus­sia has risen from 25th last year to 22nd this year, over­tak­ing China, Sin­ga­pore and Ar­gentina, while Ukraine has moved from 48th to 46th, over­tak­ing Kenya and Qatar. This change fol­lows a slow­ing of the Ukraine-Rus­sia con­flict, with both na­tions see­ing their great­est boosts com­ing from their gov­er­nance scores and - in par­tic­u­lar - im­proved per­cep­tions of their be­hav­ior in the ar­eas of in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity.

In fact, the con­flict’s eas­ing ap­pears to be im­prov­ing the im­age of the re­gion as a whole: the Czech Repub­lic (30th last year, now 28th) has edged ahead in the rank­ings. And Poland (steady in 26th place) and, to a lesser ex­tent, Hun­gary (28th last year, now 29th due to be­ing over­taken by Czech Repub­lic) also raised their scores some­what. Tur­key in­creased its rat­ing, but not enough to pre­vent it be­ing over­taken by two Asia-Pa­cific na­tions, Thai­land and Tai­wan, so that it now holds 34th place.

“A coun­try’s global rep­u­ta­tion can make a crit­i­cal dif­fer­ence to the suc­cess of its busi­ness, trade and tourism ef­forts, as well as its diplo­matic and cul­tural re­la­tions with other na­tions,” ex­plained Vadim Vo­los, GfK’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent of pub­lic af­fairs and con­sult­ing and head of NBI.

“Our clients de­pend on the NBI study be­cause it is un­beaten in the depth of in­for­ma­tion that is in­cluded in forming the rank­ing - making it the most thor­ough and ro­bust mon­i­tor of na­tional rep­u­ta­tion avail­able.”

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