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Insight: FutureBrand Country Index reveals resilience during year of global crises

LONDON, UK – FutureBrand, the global brand transformation company, has today launched its 2020 Country Index, 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.

Japan retained its #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 ten for the first time in 9th and 10th place respectively.

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 place 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 and Japan took 8th place.


Jon Tipple, Global Chief Strategy Officer, FutureBrand, commented: “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.

“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.”

The Ci draws on qualitative and quantitative data gathered from over 2,500 influential individuals, including chief executives, civil servants and other high-ranking professionals across the globe. Crucially, each individual surveyed by FutureBrand’s research partner QRi Consulting has travelled internationally in the last two years and has either visited or is familiar with the countries they rated.

Further headline findings include:

  • The UK and US retained spots in the top twenty, taking 20th and 13th place respectively, and indicating robust country brands in the face of crises
  • The regional advance of the Middle East: the UAE has climbed 10 places since 2014’s index, with Qatar and Oman also improving their rankings. The region’s strongest metrics are Business Potential, Made In and Heritage and Culture.
  • The regional advance of Africa: all countries in the region have improved their rankings, with Angola, Kenya and Algeria emerging as three of the top five risers globally. The region’s strongest metrics are Tourism, Made In and Heritage and Culture.
  • New York held onto its spot as the most influential city in the next three years, followed by Beijing and Washington in 2nd and 3rd place. London and Tokyo rounded out the top five.

Learn more and download the report at

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