After the announcement of the winners in the tourism promotion category of the first Country Brand Awards, today we’re turning our attention to the ‘Doing Business’ category. This award is based on countries’ capacity to attract foreign investment, international talent and the promotion of exports, essential axes when building a Country Brand. At a global level, the three best-rated countries in this field are all Asian countries: South Korea (average score of 7.75 out of 10), Singapore (7.6) and Japan (7.48).

The international jury has recognised their success in promoting their Country Brand by building a strong economic brand. South Korea stood out for the government’s encouragement of foreign companies whose business areas focus on the development of new technologies and R&D. Singapore stood out as one of the countries with the highest inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In third position, Japan has been recognised for its proactivity in carrying out campaigns to attract FDI through its openness to trade and the establishment of a favourable environment for foreign investors.

In terms of results by continent, in the Americas, Canada (7.25) has taken first place, while the United States (6.37) and Colombia (5.72) came in second and third place respectively.

Germany (7.45) was the big winner in Europe, followed by France (6.83) and Sweden (6.28). In Asia, the Middle East and Oceania, there was naturally overlap with the global winners: South Korea, Singapore and Japan. In Africa, Morocco and South Africa were tied for first place, with an average of 5.6. They are followed by Kenya (5.2) and Senegal (5.1).

How do you build a Country Brand?

The Country Brand Awards independently evaluate three fundamental components in the construction of the Country Brand: the capacity to generate an economic brand by attracting foreign investment, talent and promoting exports; the capacity to build a tourism brand; and a new axis, namely the country’s management of the COVID-19 crisis. The latter will impact the construction or deterioration of the Country Brand.

On this occasion, economic brand recognition focuses on the capacity of countries to attract Foreign Direct Investment, talent and the promotion of their exports. In this way, the policies and strategies of 40 pre-selected countries were assessed in order to analyse their communication and marketing campaigns and the corresponding impact on their reputation.

The expert jury was able to assess these parameters during the months of September and October thanks to an objective and independent study. This included Foreign Direct Investment figures and their evolution in recent years, and the strategies carried out by the countries to attract foreign investment and talent.

The jury was chaired by Didier Lagae, author of the book Marca País, Un País como Marca, newly released in English and French, and made up of communications professionals and diplomats.

Rodrigo Villamizar-Alvargonzález, Ambassador and former Minister of Energy of Colombia, points out: “I applaud the initiative of MARCO to launch the first ever Country Brand Awards, especially under the current circumstances of COVID-19 when communication and country reputation building is more important than ever. Kudos to the winners and I encourage all institutional organisations involved in promoting tourism, economic opportunities and their country brands to do even more and do it better.”

For his part, Fathallah Sijilmassi, Ambassador of Morocco, former Secretary General of the Moroccan Agency for Investment Development (AMDIE) and former Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), states: “I congratulate all the winners in the Doing Business Category. I am particularly happy to see that Morocco ranked first in Africa. This further highlights Morocco’s increased role as an attractive and dynamic platform for Foreign Direct Investment and business development. The changing global value chains due to the COVID-19 crisis offer a unique opportunity for a country like Morocco to strengthen its position as a competitive hub for international business.”

Didier Lagae, recently named European PR and Global PR Professional of the Year, as well as CEO and Founder of MARCO comments: “The current crisis caused by COVID-19 forces us to communicate more than ever. Business promotion must focus on what really concerns companies at the moment, which is economic certainty. In other words, what countries are doing to attract talent and investment and promote exports and how they project this to the public.”

He comments: “Promoting a country’s economic brand encompasses several aspects that deserve a differentiated approach: living and working, as well as investing and exporting. Countries, as any business person would, should make decisions and select investments that best suit their objectives, so objective external analysis is essential. This guarantees the rigour and continuity of the projects regardless of political variations, ensuring a strong and lasting Country Brand.”

The winners in the Doing Tourism category were announced on 4 December and the overall winners will be announced in the coming days.

Last modified: 18 December, 2020



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