The UAE has entered the top 10 country brands for the first time, jumping 10 places since 2014 this year. This reflects growing global business confidence in the Middle East.
This was revealed by FutureBrand, a global brand transformation company that launched its 2020 Country Index today, providing in-depth and nuanced rankings of global country brands.
Conducted six months into the coronavirus pandemic, the Country Index (CI) reveals unexpected resilience during a year of crises. The ranking is based on a survey of 2,500 influential individuals.
Japan retained its No. 1 spot in the rankings, a position it has held since the inaugural index was launched in 2014. It was joined in the top five by Switzerland, Germany and Canada, with the UAE and New Zealand entering the top 10 for the first time in 9th and 10th place respectively.
The index also revealed growing global confidence in both the Middle East and Africa. In addition to the UAE entering the top 10 brands list for the first time – climbing 10 places since 2014 - Oman also increased its rankings to 25th place.
In Africa, each country in the region increased its ranking, with Angola, Kenya and Algeria emerging as three of the top five risers globally. For both regions, Heritage and Culture were one of the strongest metrics measured.
New to the CI for 2020 is a swathe of questions relating to coronavirus, including a ranking of the best handlers of the coronavirus pandemic. New Zealand secured the top spot in the list, followed by China in 2nd and Germany in 3rd place. Interestingly, “don’t know” took 4th place, with qualitative data from respondents indicating more time was needed to properly assess the success of different governmental strategies. South Korea rounded out the top five.
New to the index for 2020 is data on domestic perceptions of the handling of coronavirus. In the UAE, 71% of respondents were positive about the country’s handling of the pandemic, with clear government communication cited as a key factor. 55% of respondents would like to visit the UAE in the next 5 years. Dubai was also placed 9th in the ranking of most influential cities globally.
The data is drawn from FutureBrand’s latest Country Index - an in-depth ranking of how people perceive countries around the world, based on qualitative and quantitative data gathered between 2nd - 11th September 2020.
“This year’s index once again goes beyond GDP to take into account broader metrics such as perceived Quality of Life, Value System and Heritage and Culture to inform up-to-date country brand rankings. This more nuanced index of global country brands offers fresh insight into challenger countries, which may yet be unclear from their economic standing,” said Jon Tipple, Global Chief Strategy Officer, FutureBrand.
“Ultimately, it's clear that countries which consistently invest in their global brand holistically are better placed to withstand the shocks of economic uncertainty, polemic news headlines, populist politics and even pandemics,” he added.
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