Luxembourg's nation branding logo at the Kinnekswiss park in the city centre
Photo: Mike Zenari
Luxembourg is set to become the 11th best country in the world according to a 2020 index to be published in the coming weeks, author Simon Anholt revealed during a British Chamber of Commerce seminar on Monday.
The grand duchy currently ranks 16th in the Good Country Index, which measures the global contributions of 150 countries in seven different categories, including
science and technology,
international peace and security,
planet and climate,
prosperty and equality,
and health and wellbeing.
“Luxembourg has risen in the latest edition of the Good Country Index mainly because of much improved scores in its international contributions to peace and security, culture, and planet and climate,” Anholt, who developed the index, told Delano.
The full results of the 2020 edition will be published in the coming weeks.
But the improved ranking is not because of Luxembourg’s nation branding campaign, first launched in 2014. Instead, the index looks at what countries contribute to the common good, using data from the UN and other international organisations.
Anholt coined the term nation brand, arguing that countries--like consumer brands--can have powerful images that set them apart when competing for business, investors, tourists and more on the global stage.
However, he does not believe in nation branding. “Does a logo change the image of a country? Of course it doesn’t,” Anholt said during the BCC seminar. Instead of making vast promises, countries should just “shut up and get on with it,” Anholt said, adding that the world faced unprecedented challenges. “We live in the age of the long crisis,” he said. “It’s just one damn thing after another” from climate change and species loss to antibiotic resilience and now a pandemic.
Evidence from his Nation Brands Index--which surveys thousands of people worldwide about the image of 50 nations--suggests that even Brexit and the US presidency of Donald Trump had done little to harm the global reputation of both countries. Losses in some countries evened out with gains in others. “Globally, nothing changed,” Anholt said. “People don’t like changing their minds about countries.”
Both countries have steadily sunk in the Good Country Index over the past four years though. The UK dropped from 7th place five years ago to 15th place in 2019. The fall of the US was even more substantial from 21st place to 40th.
Germany is a candidate that shows that change is possible, going from “pariah state” to “most admired country” in just 70 years, according to Anholt. “If you do things that prove what you’re all about, gradually people will regard you more favourably,” he said.
The BCC Leadership Forum continues this week with talks by health minister Paulette Lenert, Sacred Heart University professor Marcus B. Mueller and business and leadership expert Margaret Heffernan.