The US, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden - who tied with Spain - are among the ten best nations in the world for presenting their "brand" image in respect to business, exports, governance, culture, people, trade, tourism, immigration factors, according to the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index's fourth annual study, ordered by the Swedish Institute.

"For us, the key task is to constantly analyze Swedenís position in the international environment - to determine how the country is perceived and to maintain a close understanding of our target groups abroad," said Liselott Bergman, Brand Analysis Manager at the Swedish Institute.


The interest in this summer's royal wedding might well increase the awareness of the brand Sweden. The City of Stockholm is certainly putting a lot of effort into the event - - as is the Swedish Institute, which launched a new cooperative effort under the name Brands of Sweden - - according to the Institute, part of SIís work to involve Swedes and Swedish companies and organizations in putting Sweden on the map abroad.

With exactly the same ranking, Sweden and Spain tied for different reasons relating to strengths in various areas. Sweden excels in exports, governance, immigration and investment, while Spain received far better ratings in culture and tourism.

In the category of people, both nations also tied. Swedes are regarded as attractive and Spaniards as romantic, and people answering the questions also concluded that both have sex appeal. Sweden's worst branding placement - tourism and culture - was 14th.

Sweden was also 10th in 2008, although Spain followed at 11th in that year. Spaniards, however, are improving their rankings more than Swedes, and next year, the index's compilers suspect that Spain might surpass Sweden.
In all, 20,939 interviews were conducted with an average of 1,050 individuals per nation.

They perceived Sweden as the welfare model and a country that supports democracy, human rights, security and sustainability. Sweden is also one of the countries to have emerged strongest from the global economic crisis.

In a dramatic leap, which pollsters attribute to President Barrack Obama's popularity worldwide, the US climbed from seventh place the previous year to the first position on these most recent ratings.

Just as companies are branded by the country from which they originate, likewise, so are people. Anholtís worldwide survey of peopleís attitudes to other countriesí nationals found that, on average, if presented with two candidates for a job that were equal apart from one being Turkish and the other Swedish, 80% would hire the Swede. Staggeringly, more than 70% of the Turkish respondents also said that they would also hire the Swede.