China's brand image improves: Report

Updated: 2011-10-13 11:09

By Tan Yingzi (China Daily)

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WASHINGTON - The national image of China, the world's second-largest economy, has improved in recent years thanks to its strong economic growth and the 2008 Olympic Games, according to a latest report on nation brands.

The 2011 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI), released Wednesday, measures the global image of 50 countries, the only annual analytical ranking of the world's nation brands since 2008.

The 2011 NBI survey was conducted in July among citizens in 20 major countries, including 11 developing countries. The survey results are based on the ratings of 50 nations by 20,337 respondents on questions in six categories: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment.

Despite a series of economic problems, the United States remains the most admired country in the world for the third consecutive year with the best overall reputation, according to the report.

The top 10 on the list are all developed countries: the US is followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Canada, Italy, Australia, Switzerland and Sweden.

"The strengths of America's international standing continue to be innovation, opportunities and vibrancy," said Simon Anholt, NBI founder and an independent adviser. "While the country still does not make the top 10 list for the way it governs domestically and behaves globally, it has made significant improvements in the area of governance."

Xiaoyan Zhao, senior vice-president at GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communication, said the same countries have dominated the top 10 list over the years with slight ranking changes because they have consistent reputations and a well-balanced image.

"The overall reputation (of a country) is not built overnight, so it will not change overnight," she said.

Brazil is the highest ranked developing country at the 20th spot. China's position climbed from 26th in 2008 to 22nd this year.

China ranks third in the cultural heritage index, the best score among the six categories, but performed poorly in governance.

Zhao said the rapid economic development and the Beijing Olympic Games have helped change public perception of China since 2008.

"The Games showed the world the modern side of the country, vibrant cities, stunning architecture and the welcoming people, all of those contributed to the positive image of the country," she said.

According to the study, China, Japan, Germany, the US and Canada will be the top five influences on global trade and economics over the next 10 years.

But China, now the world's largest exporter in terms of volume, ranked 11th in the export index.

"The most important impact on your reputation is behavior itself, the policy, the actual impact and benefits experienced by the people," Zhao said.

The Chinese government has been paying attention to national brand building in recent years with investments in hosting international events such as the Olympics and the World Expo.

Zhao said China needs to examine how each country ranks and try to find its own strengths and weaknesses.

"Different countries look for different things from China. Sometimes the 'global campaign' may not work," she said.