By Andy Sambidge
Qatar also prominent in list of countries expected to make biggest impact on global stage
Two Gulf countries have been named among the top four forecast to make the biggest impact on the global landscape economically, politically and culturally in years to come.
The UAE topped the inaugural list of 15 nations published by FutureBrand which recognises those countries with the biggest potential.
"The Future Fifteen recognises the United Arab Emirates as the forerunner among tomorrow's leading country brands," FutureBrand said in a statement.
The report cites the UAE's aptitude in capitalising on its "abundance of natural resources and in exercising excellent government foresight around policy and investment" as one of the strongest indicators of its future success.
Despite positive momentum in the region, the Country Brand Index also noted the UAE's impending obstacles, including the tremendous challenge of fair wealth distribution.
Qatar was also prominent in the list and ranked number four behind the UAE, Chile and Malaysia.
FutureBrand also revealed its 8th annual ranking of the world's leading country brands, with Switzerland moving to the top.
The 2012-13 index ranks the world's countries - from their cultures, to their industries, to their economic vitality and public policy initiatives - based on global perceptions today.
Drawing insights from a collective of 3,600 opinion-formers and frequent international travellers from 18 countries, FutureBrand determined how key audiences - residents, investors, tourists and foreign governments - see the world's country brands, from awareness through to advocacy.
Canada, Japan, Sweden and New Zealand rounded out the top five positions in the list, with the UAE in 23rd place, up two from last year.
The report said that in the face of successive fiscal crises, the influence and normative values of the West are beginning to lose clout with a global audience.
As a consequence, the United States brand has declined eight places in the overall index since 2009 - a year when the US led the index at number one.
By contrast, as a symbol of economic, cultural and social stability, brand Switzerland showed that the cultivation of freedom, tolerance, transparency and environmentalism can put a country's brand ahead, even in difficult economic times, the index said.
This ranking is utterly meaningless.
FutureBrand's methodology, direct from their website: "We started by collecting quantitative data from 3,600 opinion-formers and frequent international business or leisure travelers."
Which basically translates to whichever investor pays $$$ get to have his opinion formed onto our list.
Good business. I may start a ranking business of my own.
"tremendous challenge of fair wealth distribution????" To who???? Labourers??? Maids???? Minimum wage??? Sorry disagree with this one
I agree John, Forbes has UAE at 23 on the list for 2012/13 . They must make this stuff up to rally local populations. Funny how some countries are in to self adulation and self promoting eh. Oh well must be insecure I guess? Think I,ll make a list of
best comments.....mine of course :)
We identified the UAE (specifically Abu Dhabi) as having significant potential back in 2008. My opinion has not really changed since then, although Qatar may provide formidable regional competition to the UAE in this regard.
Readers may also be interested in the recent World Economic Forum report on current Global Competitiveness. Here Qatar is placed quite highly - in 11th place.
The key for both countries is to convert potential into reality. This requires action.
I totally agree that wealth distribution is inncorrect.The is no fair wealth distribution in this country.It is has unfortunately been modified to cater only those who are above wealthy and those who serve them.So basically we have the blue collar and the Diamond population!