Switzerland’s image abroad remains stable

Bern, Press release, 01.02.2011

Switzerland is ranked eighth on the 2010 Nation Brands Index (NBI), and thus once again figures among the leading countries of the world in terms of image. In view of the fact that Switzerland was often in the international spotlight during that year, this may be regarded as an excellent result. However, its image suffered a slight setback in the “Population” category, and in particular in Turkey and in Egypt. As has been the case in previous years, Switzerland continues to enjoy a better rating from countries overseas than from European nations. Once again, Germany is the main exception here.

The Nation Brands Index (NBI) evaluates the strength and attractiveness of 50 countries on the basis of six criteria: governance, investments and immigration, exports, tourism, culture and cultural heritage, and population. It is published annually. On the 2010 index, Switzerland was again ranked eighth, as it had been in 2009 and 2008. The other positions in the top ten are all held by much larger countries. In five out of six categories, Switzerland is among the leading twelve nations. It therefore enjoys a highly homogeneous image and fares considerably better than many comparable countries in terms of size and importance.

Switzerland obtained its best result (second place) in Germany, and its worst in Turkey (twelfth place). Generally speaking it enjoys a better image overseas than close to home in Europe. 

In 2010, its commitment to the environment and its excellent quality of life were once again regarded as Switzerland’s greatest strengths. It also received top marks for its respect of the political rights of its citizens, but in this segment it surrendered first place to Canada. Its greatest setback in 2010 was in the “Population” category, in which it dropped from fourth to eighth. Here, the evaluation by Turkey fell sharply (minus 22 places), while other countries (Egypt, France, South Korea, Poland, Sweden and Germany) also revised their assessments significantly downwards in this category. In the “Investments and immigration” category, Switzerland fell from third to fifth, in the “Exports” category it dropped one place to finish seventh, and in the “Tourism” category it was again ranked eleventh. Switzerland’s worst result has always been in the “Culture and cultural heritage” category, and  this was again the case in 2010, in which it was placed twentieth. 

Switzerland’s ranking on the NBI is an important basis for its national communication activities abroad. The NBI results are supplemented by internal studies that the FDFA (Presence Switzerland) carries out periodically in selected countries. For example, an image study is currently being conducted in Italy. Based on these analyses, the FDFA develops its national communication strategy for the attention of the Federal Council, and defines concepts for Switzerland’s participation in major international events, for example for the House of Switzerland at the Olympic Games in London in 2012, and the Swiss Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Yeosu, South Korea.  


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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs