Norway high on 'most admired' list

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Norway could head into the New Year with a high placement on a list of countries ranked in order of their international reputations. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reported that Norway was admired for its democracy, well-functioning society, international responsibility and scenic beauty.

Norway already ranks as the best country in which to live,according to the United Nations Development Program. Now a survey of 22,000 business executives and residents of the world’s G8 countries places Norway 5th in terms of its overall reputation.
The Countryrep 2009 survey of persons living in France, Italy, Russia, Germany, the US, Japan, Great Britain and Canada was conducted by the Reputation Institute, a research bureau that surveys the reputations of companies, brand names and countries, with offices in 25 nations.

It ranked Norway behind just Switzerland, Canada, Australia and Sweden to become the world’s fifth-most admired country.

The countries that were least admired were Russia (at the bottom of the list with a score of 36.1, compared to Norway’s 70.6), China (38.1) and Ukraine (39).

Those questioned in the annual “Global Reputation Pulse” study were asked their impressions of 34 countries. The goal is to see whether companies can gain an advantage by using or avoiding a country’s reputation in their international marketing.

‘Platform for confidence’

“A good reputation is a platform for confidence,” Nils M Apeland of analysis group Apeland Informasjon, which cooperates with Reputation Institute, told Dagens Næringsliv (DN) . He thinks Norwegian businesses should use their Norwegian base in their own marketing efforts.

“The survey shows that Norwegian firms could benefit by promoting their Norwegian identities out in the world,” Apeland said. “Norway is associated with democracy, cleanliness, beautiful scenery, responsibility and a well-functioning society.”

He said the other top-ranking countries and all the Scandinavian countries also enjoyed the same attributes. Denmark, for example, ranked seventh, while Nordic neighbour Finland was sixth.

Norway also ranked high in separate categories of the Countryrep survey, placing third for having “a good social welfare system” and fourth for “having an effective government.”

Apeland said the high rankings can help promote Norwegian products. He noted that the country’s seafood industry already uses its Norwegian identity, and one of the most successful fashion firms of 2009 is called “Moods of Norway.”