An annual nation branding survey carried out by research firm Anholt-GfK, which measures the reputation of countries, ranks India at 31st among 50 countries, with Germany overtaking the United States for top spot in 2014.
The study measures global perceptions of each country, based on 23 different attributes that make up the six overall dimensions on which national image is based: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/ investment.
Although manufacturing is part of the export metric, it is measured in terms of perception, not volume: whether a country’s manufacturing makes an important contribution to science and technology; whether it involves innovation and creativity; and whether it makes one feel good to buy things from that country.
Which is why China ranks 12th in exports even though it is a low-cost manufacturing superpower; India is 26th. “China ranks very low in terms of exports; the goodwill garnered with culture, where it ranks a high 8th, has not caught up,” says Xiaoyan Zhao, senior vice president and director of Nation Branding Index at GfK. India, at 23rd, also ranks higher with respect to its culture than its overall 31st ranking. Cultural metric include heritage, tourist landmarks, etc.
Where both China and India lose out is in terms of governance, where they stand 46th and 42nd respectively, with India faring marginally better than China. But India's overall 31st rating - sandwiched between Czech Republic at 30 and Turkey at 32 - is the worst among BRIC nations. Brazil tops at 21, China at 23, and Russia at 25. Whatever the reality is, at least in terms of image and perception, the top ten nation brands are all OECD countries, with the US ceding ground to Germany for the first time since the annual survey began in 2009. “Germany appears to have benefited not only from the sports prowess it displayed on the world stage at the FIFA World Cup championship, but also by solidifying its perceived leadership in Europe through a robust economy and steady political stewardship,'' says the survey. Germany's score gains in the areas of `honest and competent government', `investment climate', and `social equality' are among the largest it achieved across all the aspects covered by the NBI 2014 survey .
In contrast, the US has shown the least impressive NBI gain among developed nations. While it is still seen as number one in several areas, including creativity , contemporary culture, and educational institutions, its role in global peace and security only ranks 19th out of 50 nations.