Despite the complex situation caused by Covid-19, Spain has maintained the same score as last year in the ranking of the Royal Elcano Institute and the Reputation Institute which evaluates the image of countries
Despite the tremendous difficulties caused by Covid-19 around the world, and specifically in Spain, the international reputation and prestige of our country has not been harmed. This is reflected in the latest report entitled ‘Spain’s reputation around the world. Country RepTrak’ – the international survey drawn up by the Royal Elcano Institute and the Reputation Institute – has analysed the international prestige of countries since 2009.
In 2020, Spain achieved an overall score of 75.9 points out of 100 – the same score as in 2019 – which places it in 13th position from among the 55 main economies in the world with the best international image. This score places it above such peer countries as Italy (16th), the United Kingdom (18th), Germany (19th) and France (20th), and a long way ahead of such global powers as the USA (34th) and China (50th). Switzerland heads up the table, with 83.3 points, followed by Norway (82.9), Finland (82.4), New Zealand (82.4) and Sweden (82.3), while Iraq, Iran and Pakistan occupy the last three places. According to the scale of the strength of the reputation established by RepTrak, this punctuation places Spain at a level of Strong/Robust, at a similar level to Japan and Ireland.
For Manuel Muñíz, State Secretary for Global Spain, it “is good news that the estimation and confidence in our country has barely been affected by the recent Covid-19 crisis against a backdrop of global pandemic”, and underlined that “our image as a country is probably better than we think”. “It is important to all be united in conveying our strengths to others”.
The fieldwork carried out by RepTrak in March and April – in the midst of the pandemic and the state of emergency – involved asking more than 30,000 people from 22 countries about Spain: all of the former G8 (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, the USA; Canada and Japan), the largest countries from Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru), China, Portugal, the Netherlands, Morocco, Australia, India, South Korea and people from Spain itself.
Quality of life, Spain’s main strength
The best perception of Spain by foreigners is its quality of life, according to the evaluations made by the G8 countries. Our country receives its highest scores in the four attributes of this dimension of the study: Natural environment (84.1 points), Leisure and Entertainment (83.4 points), Friendly and kind people (81.5 points) and Lifestyle (81.1 points). Culture also stands out among the attributes in the report, with 77.4 points, holding 9th position.
Although the “toughest” aspects of reputation (economy, technology, business and governance) are those in which Spain has traditionally presented fewer strengths, it is true that there has been an improvement over the last year in such aspects as technology and innovation (66.7 points, up 7% on 2019), the efficient use of public resources (68.6 points, up 6.6%), ethics and transparency (66.8 points, up 6.5%) and international respect (71.8 points, up 4.9%).
The Royal Elcano Institute and Reputation Institute study also shows an improvement in positive attitudes towards Spain, such as the recommendation to invest more in our country, buy Spanish products, attend events, study, work or live in our country, the recommendation to visit Spain only dropped from 87 points in 2019 to 84 points this year; a slight fall taking into account the global plummet of international tourism. As a result of the good perception of its quality of life, Spain achieved its best score among the attitudes in the recommendation to come and live in our country (75.7 points and in 9th position).
Brits, Russians and Italians, among those who most highly rate Spain
Once again, the foreigners who most highly rate Spain are those who visit the most: the British are those who have the best perception of our country (81.5 points), followed by Russians (79.4 points), Italians (78.8 points), Germans (77.1 points) and the French (77 points). South Korea, China, Colombia and Morocco are, in contrast, those who have the lowest opinion of Spain; however, all of them give an approval rating of between 53 and 60 points.
Spain’s prestige improved slightly (by 1.9%) in those surveyed from Latin American countrie (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru), although the ratings are always below the scores Spain receives from the former members of the G8.
Self-perception by Spaniards continues to improve
After a long period that began with the economic crisis, during which time Spaniards gave much lower scores than people from other countries, Spain is now bedding down its improvement in terms of self-perception or estimation in this year’s report. This now stands at 76.5 points, to stand in 10th position from among the 19 countries that have analysed the self-perception of their own citizens. These even exceed the global score received from abroad. Italy and France are two of the countries that now have a domestic score that is lower than Spain’s.
As regards the opinion of the Spanish people on the reputation of other countries, Finland (84.9 points), Norway (84.1 points), Canada (82.8 points), Sweden (81.9 points) Switzerland (81.3 points) and Australia (80.3 points) headed up this assessment, all with a reputation level of Excellent.