Survey: South Africa Maintains Its Global Reputation

Survey: South Africa Maintains Its Global Reputation

Reputation-wise, South Africa outperformed its counterparts in Africa and the Middle East, according to a survey that polled 20,500 people, AllAfrica reports.

Why is this important?

Because the way a country is perceived can make a significant difference in the success of its business, trade and tourism efforts, as well as its diplomatic and cultural relations with other nations, the report said.

South Africa ranked 36th in the latest Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, released Thursday. Botswana entered the rankings for the first time at No. 48, ahead of Nigeria and Iran.

The annual survey ranked 50 countries regarded as playing important roles in international relations, trade and flow of business, and cultural and tourism activities, according to AllAfrica.

People in 20 countries including South Africa were polled online. Respondents rated the 50 countries on questions in six categories including exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment. The index measured the power and appeal of each country’s brand image by examining its competence in these categories, the report said.

“The 2013 Nation Brands Index results are very good news for South Africa,” said Miller Motola, CEO of Brand South Africa.

South Africa’s 2013 rankings remained unchanged in exports (No. 37 out of 50), governance (No. 40 out of 50), tourism (No. 34 out of 50) and immigration/investment (No. 38 out of 50). In the culture category, South Africa’s ranking rose to No. 27, “fitting”, Matola said, “since we are proud of our history and diversity and this is one of our greatest strengths.”

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South Africa showed a slight decline in the “people” category at No. 34, but so did most of the other 50 polled nations, AllAfrica reported.

The countries rated the top 10 include, from No. 1 to No. 10: U.S., Germany, U.K., France, Canada, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, and Sweden.

Most countries displayed “remarkable stability” in the rankings, the report said. One exception is Spain, which struggled to emerge from its debt crisis.

Russia’s reputation is described as “noticeably volatile,” due in large part to the country’s governance positions. It ranked No. 22.

China ranked No. 23 and experienced “noticeable losses on their investment appeal,” reflecting a trend across the world, Anholt said.

At No. 31, India experienced “considerable downward movements” between the last two readings, the report notes.

South Africa was the strongest performer of the nine countries selected to represent the Middle East and Africa, according to the report.

Here’s how the other countries ranked in the Nation Brands Index for the Middle East and Africa: South Africa: No. 36; Egypt: No. 41; United Arab Emirates: No. 40; Saudi Arabia: No. 45; Qatar: No. 46, Kenya: No. 47; Botswana: No. 48; Nigeria: No. 49; Iran: No. 50.