Estonia ranked 57th in Brand Finance’s 2024 Global Soft Power Index | News

According to the latest Global Soft Power Index compiled by international brand evaluation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance, Estonia is ranked 57th in the world in terms of soft power. Of the 193 countries included in the index, the top three were the U.S.A., the U.K. and China.

Brand Finance defines soft power as a nation’s ability to influence the preferences and behaviors of various actors in the international arena (states, corporations, communities, publics etc.) through attraction or persuasion rather than coercion.

The biggest change in from the 2023 rankings is China’s rise from fifth to third place, overtaking Japan (fourth place) and Germany, which went in the opposite direction, from third to fifth.

The 2024 top ten is completed by France in sixth place, Canada seventh, Switzerland in eighth and Italy ninth, with the United Arab Emirates claiming tenth spot.

Having dropped three places since last year, Russia is now in sixteenth place, while Ukraine is 44th, seven places lower than in the 2023 index.

Estonia is one place behind Slovenia and one ahead of Romania in the 2024 index. Among EU member states, Slovakia (60th), Lithuania (61st), Bulgaria (64th), Cyprus (65th), Malta (68th), Latvia (71st) are all behind Estonia. Neighboring Finland is in 24th position.

The index, which is compiled by Brand Finance, takes into account a wide range of indicators, that are grouped into four categories (familiarity, influence, reputation and perceptions). The company surveyed 170,000 respondents in around 100 countries to compile the index.

Familiarity is the measure of how much a particular country is known elsewhere, with greater familiarity strengthening that country’s soft power.

Influence assesses the extent to which the country in question exerts influence in the respondent’s country and also the wider international arena.

Reputation focuses on whether or not a country has a positive global image.

The fourth category (perceptions), divides the building blocks of soft power into eight key pillars: business and trade, international relations, education and science, culture and heritage, governance, media and communication, sustainable future, and people and values.

On a nine-point scale, Estonia scored highest for reputation (5.8 points), business and trade (4.5) and for the sustainable future (4.2). Estonia’s lowest scores were for education and science and (3.2), media and communication (3.2), culture and heritage (3.3) and familiarity (3.4).

Brand Finance also highlighted how three countries in the Middle East – the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – have been rapidly increasing their soft power through targeted strategies leveraging their economic power.

The EXPO 2020 World Expo and COP28 climate conference hosted by the UAE, the 2022 men’s football World Cup finals in Qatar and the tourism and sports campaigns developed in Saudi Arabia under Vision 2030 are making these countries increasingly influential. According to the report, they are seizing soft power opportunities to define national competitive advantages and change perceptions.

The full 2024 Brand Finance Global Soft Power Index can be viewed here.

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