USA still top
Topping the table as the world's most valuable nation brand, the USA's brand value has gone up 23% over the past year to $25.9 trillion, according to the latest Brand Finance Nation Brands report.
The US economy has expanded at a speedy pace with growth expected to continue in the months to come. Alongside the GDP, also consumer sales, construction orders, car output and other indicators of growth have each seen an increase - proving the US economy truly is booming.
In addition, thanks to the falling tax rates, which have created a more business-friendly environment, the USA's Brand Strength Index (BSI) score has improved from 83.8 in 2017 to 85.6 out of 100 this year. As a result, America's brand rating has been upgraded from AAA- to AAA, and the brand value leader has also moved up the brand strength ranking, replacing Sweden asthe 8th strongest nation brand in the world.
China's Boom Continues
China maintains its spot as the second most valuable nation brand, with brand value up 25% to $12.8 trillion. China performs well despite the prospects of a protracted trade war with the US, displaying the established robustness of the Chinese economy. This rise in brand value is also a credit to booming cities like Beijing and Shanghai, for their world-class infrastructure and well-educated workforce, which make them some of the world's best places to do business.
Whilst China's brand strength remains relatively low at 73.5, it has grown faster than for any other big nation brand, with whole two points added to the country's Brand Strength Index (BSI) score over the past year. The improvement comes as China steps up its role on the global stage, championing free trade and leading the efforts to combat climate change at a time when the USA is turning towards protectionism and prioritising own interests over a collaborative energy policy.
Recent years have also seen China shift focus from commoditised production to building worldclass brands, such as Huawei and Alibaba, whose success in turn reinforces the strength of the nation brand.
Germany Gets Ahead
The fastest-growing brand in the top 50 of the Brand Finance Nation Brands 2018, Germany has seen a 28% brand value jump to $5.1 trillion over the past year. This has solidified the country's position as Europe's most valuable nation brand and the world's third.
Following strong growth, Germany has more than doubled the lead over the fourth brand in the table, from $582 billion in 2017 to $1.4 trillion this year. Reinforced by the country's status as the leading force in the European Union and its growing global role both economically and at the political negotiating table, Germany's brand strength has also improved, leading to a lift in brand
rating from AAA- to AAA.
Britain Strong and Stable
Perceived vulnerability undermines Britain's standing on the global stage, reflected in the nation brand's strength falling slightly since last year, from 85.3 to 84.8, but a healthy economy and positive growth forecasts show Britain's resilience in the face of Brexit. The UK's nation brand has recorded a solid 20% growth year on year to US$3.8 trillion, replacing Japan in fourth place.
Turmoil Threatens Turkey
The ongoing economic crisis alongside the fall in value of the lira have seen Turkey's brand value decline by one third to $382 billion from $570 billion last year. Turbulent political times in the wider region, such as the ongoing crises in Syria and Iraq, have also played a part.
The mission ahead is to nurture global Turkish brands, such as the national carrier Turkish Airlines, which has shown a promising rise in its brand value since last year, up 6% to over $2.0 billion.
Six out of ten fastest-growing nation brands this year are from Africa. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Ghana have all recorded outstanding growth between 28% and 38% year on year.
Singapore: Passion Made Possible
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of nation brands, determined by performance on dozens of data points across three key pillars: Goods & Services, Investment and Society. According to these criteria, Singapore has claimed the title of the world's strongest nation brand once again this year, earning the elite AAA+ rating and a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 92.4 out of 100. A strong nation brand denotes a highly attractive environment for investment and Singapore has carved a global reputation for itself as a well-educated nation with a high quality of life.
Singapore is also the recognised technology hub in Asia - where most of the sector's companies have their headquarters and where Facebook has just announced plans to open its new data centre in 2022. Whilst also boasting a good infrastructure, the Asia Pacificpowerhouse is ideally positioned for connections with China, Hong Kong and Australia.
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