Germany replaces US as country with best international image


1: Germany

Germany moved top of the rankings after coming in second last year. It ranked in the top five in all but one of the six categories. The study noted that their increase in scores came in part because of improved perceptions among Egyptians, Russians, Chinese and Italians.


2: France

France reached second spot for the first time since 2009. They benefited greatly in how others preceived the country's governance — an improvement that could be attributed to the impact of recently-elected President Emmanuel Macron. France also ranks first in culture, second in tourism and fifth in exports.


3: United Kingdom

The UK rebounded from its Brexit-induced drop in overall score last year to hold third place in the rankings. The study concluded that most countries have come to terms with Brexit, which is why the country's governance score improved by two points. The UK is also a top five country in exports, tourism, culture and immigration/investments.


4: Canada (tied)

Canada remains fourth largely because it has the highest ranking in governance, people and immigration/investment. Their overall score did not increase much from last year, but because neighbors the United States plummeted in the rankings, their consistent perception was a positive gain.


4: Japan (tied)

Japan made a big jump up the 2017 in what the study called "a banner year" for the country. Its exports remain its calling card — it is the only category in which Japan is in the top five — but Japan also made major gains in governance, culture and immigration/investment.


6: United States

The United States made the biggest drop of any of the top-five countries in the rankings, falling from first in 2016 all the way down to sixth. The main cause was what the study called "The Trump effect" — the United states dropped from 19th to 23rd in the governance category. However, the US is second in exports and culture and fifth in immigration/investment.

Germany enjoys the best reputation of any country in the world, according to the latest Nation Brands Index. The survey found that there is much more than Germany's economic motor driving the positive image.

Germany has replaced the US as the country with the best "brand image," according to a new study of 50 countries released Thursday.

Germany | 13.11.2014

The Nation Brands Index (NBI) survey, carried out by German-based market research firm GfK and the British political consultant Simon Anholt, measured public opinion around the world on "the power and quality of each country's 'brand image.'"

Germany moved up to first place after coming in second in 2016. The US dropped from top to sixth, with France, Britain, Canada and Japan taking spots two to five.

Read more: Opinion: The world loves us Germans

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The study calculated the final NBI score by researching how well people viewed a country across six categories: its people, governance, exports, tourism, investment and immigration, and culture and heritage.

The land of sausages, Merkel and "Made in Germany" was in the top five in all but one category. Only in "tourism" did Germany fall outside the top five, coming in 10th.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomed the results, saying: "Germany's image no longer rests on our economic strength. People think we're capable of much in the world."

Read more: How Berlin has ruined living anywhere else

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'The Trump effect'

Foreigners' views of the US worsened considerably compared to 2016, particularly in the category "governance," where it slipped from spot 19 to spot 23.

The "Trump effect" explains the fall, according to Anholt.

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"The loss of the US's image in the governance category is indicative of the Trump effect, which was triggered by President Trump's policies and his 'America First' message," he said.

Americans themselves nevertheless viewed their country more positively than in 2016.

Read more: Joseph Nye: Trump's tweets harm US soft power

France back, Britain steady

France went up three spots after coming in fifth in 2016 thanks to better scores in "governance" and "investment and immigration."

The land of fine wine, Balzac and Voltaire came in No. 1 for "culture."

Britain stayed steady at spot 3, despite fears the country's exit from the European Union (EU) would damage the country's international image.

Read more: The Macron effect: France now world's top 'soft power' thanks to president, cuisine and culture


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amp/rt (Reuters, dpa)