China has maintained its spot as the world's second-most valuable national brand, with its worth rising 25 percent to $12.8 trillion, according to a new report, second only to the United States of America, whose value is $25.9 trillion.
The latest Nation Brands Report announced by London-based brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance revealed that China continues to perform well despite the prospects of a protracted trade dispute with the US, confirming the already established robustness of the Chinese economy.
The Brand Strength Index, also known as BSI, is determined by performance on dozens of data points across key pillars including goods and services, investment and society.
Topping the table as the world's most valuable nation brand, the USA's brand value has gone up 23 percent over the past year to $25.9 trillion. The US economy has expanded at a speedy pace with growth expected to continue in the months to come.
Alongside the GDP, its consumer sales, construction orders, car output and other indicators of growth have each seen an increase – proving the US economy truly is booming.
This rise of China's brand value is down to the world class infrastructure and highly educated workforce of booming cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, putting them among the world's best places to do business, the research suggested.
In recent years China has shifted its focus from commoditized production to building world-class brands, such as Huawei and Alibaba, and this success in turn reinforces the strength of the nation brand.
David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, said the rising value of China's nation brand was a consequence of its position of global leadership, a pro-business outlook, and a determination for the country to create brands rather than just products.
"The current government's renewed commitment towards free trade, opening up of the Chinese market, and enhancing protection of intellectual property will make for a yet improved business environment in the years to come," Haigh said.
Singapore has claimed the title of the world's strongest nation brand once again this year, earning a BSI score of 92.4 out of 100.
"Just like for a consumer brand, it is important for a nation to have a compelling proposition to attract talent, investment, tourism and more. Singapore has managed to do that extremely well with their new positioning of 'Passion Made Possible' which cuts across segments and stakeholders, thereby contributing to the strength of Brand Singapore in every possible way," Haigh said
While China's brand strength remains relatively low at 73.5, it has grown faster than any other big nation brand, with whole two points added to the country's BSI score over the past year.
The improvement comes as China steps up its role on the global stage, championing free trade and leading the efforts to combat climate change at a time when the US is turning toward protectionism and prioritizing own interests over a collaborative energy policy.
Behind the US and China, Germany solidifies third position with the fastest-growing brand value in top 50, up 28 percent to $5.1 trillion, while despite the uncertainty of Brexit, the UK's nation brand has recorded a solid 20 percent growth year on year to $3.8 trillion, replacing Japan in fourth place.
"Britain's performance in this year's study of the world's nation brands shows that perceptions of Brexit go against the economic reality," Haigh said.
"What the exact scenario and consequences of exiting the EU will be still remains to be seen, but both current market conditions and economic forecasts for the coming years reaffirm Britain's ability to make the most of its post-Brexit future."