PH slips in 'brand' index, lowest from Southeast Asia

If the Philippines were to join a dating game along with 117 other countries, it is among those who are likely to walk home alone.

This, as the Philippines slipped further down international consultancy firm FutureBrand's "Country Brand Index" which ranks the world's nations based on global perceptions.

The country was placed 95th out of 118 in the latest report, compared to its rank of 78th out of 115 last year.

The Philippines' performance put it last among its Southeast Asian neighbors.

Singapore ranked 12th in the global list, followed by Thailand (26th), Malaysia (36th), Vietnam (69th), Indonesia (78th), Laos (81st) and Cambodia (87th).

The report uses research and insights from 3,600 "opinion-formers and frequent international business or leaisure travelers," FutureBrand said.

It assesses countries in terms of value systems, quality of life, ease of doing business, heritage and culture, as well as tourism.

FutureBrand further said that the ranking reflects global awareness and familiarity of the countries and how these translate to preference or consideration.

Switzerland emerged as the best country brand this year, switching places with Canada, which now ranks second.

Rounding out the top 10 are Japan, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, the United States, Finland, and Norway.

At the bottom of the list, meanwhile, are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Iran, Libya, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Syria, Bangladesh, and Nigeria.

Although placing the Philippines low compared to its neighbors, FutureBrand highlighted the archipelago as one of the Asia Pacific countries whose brands are "on the rise."

"In a world moving towards an improved economic, political and social order through openness, equality and shared wealth, the Philippines is poised to take on both a regional and global leadership role," the report said.

It also highlighted recent state efforts to improve public infrastructure to boost the economy and address service delivery.

"Through strong partnerships with other powerhouse countries and policies rooted in the principles of democracy, human rights and good governance, the Philippines is considered a friend to all and an enemy to none," the report said.

Maintaining an identity while improving connectivity, the report noted, will be crucial in developing a country brand amid the changing global environment.

"As the global chain of production grows, consumers seek out items that recommend a sense of place," FutureBrand said.

"For those that follow country brands, this trend signals a shift wherein a country brand, in its most literal form, shares equal billing with a product brand," it added.

Countries should also pay attention to rapid urbanization, highlighting the importance of city brands in building a country brand.

"Cities act as a true gateway to a nation, and are integral in shaping national identity," the report said.

"The quality and impact of these emerging cities will determine how tourists, investors and global citizens judge the countries they call home—and the brands behind them," it added.

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