Singapore Country Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Singapore: how has the city-state grown to dominate the charts on brand strength and global competitiveness? Well positioned as a transit hub and a destination for international business keen to expand to Asia, Singapore’s reputation is far-reaching. Join us as we further explore Singapore’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of soft power, ease of doing business, livability, country brand strength and contribution to global wellbeing.

Let’s take a closer look at: 

  • Singapore’s soft power and brand strength
  • Its competitiveness and attractiveness for investors and business
  • How’s life in Singapore?
  • Singapore a “good” country?

With thanks to our friends and knowledge partners Bloom Consulting and Brand Finance for supporting our country profiles by contributing latest research insights and benchmarking data.

Singapore’s soft power and brand strength

The study Soft Power 30 (2019) ranks Singapore 21st. Having dipped from 19th since 2016, the city-state has recently been overtaken by Ireland and South Korea. Similarly, the Global Soft Power Index 2020 ranks Singapore 20th, behind Belgium (19th).

A U.S. News listicle ranks Singapore 16th among the Best Countries 2020, attesting the country strength in areas such as open for business (5th), movers (7th), and cultural influence (9th).

Brand Finance’s Nation Brands 2019 Report puts Singapore as number one, beating out Switzerland for the strongest nation brand. Human capital development, world-class healthcare facilities and top-notch education, among others, are the types of achievements which award Singapore this honor. In terms of brand worth, Singapore is considered the 27th most valuable nation brand, behind the likes of Philippines and Ireland.

How competitive is Singapore?

Singapore secures the top position of 140 nations in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (2019). The country ranks 1st across the report’s subfactors of infrastructure, health and labor market, while ranking 2nd for institutions, product market and financial system.

Similarly, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index ranks the Southeast Asian nation 3rd. Singapore is attested great results in terms of enabling (1st) and attracting (1st) talent, but falters when considering grow (8th) and retain (24th).

Singapore’s Digital Demand  – measured by number or searches of specific topics in connection with its name – ranks 12th worldwide, with the strongest dimension being talent (9th). A deep dive into the data reveals that 57% of search results are related to working, 27% for living and 16% for studying in Singapore.

Singapore’s Ease of Doing Business is legendary, ranking 2nd and thus just behind New Zealand. Singapore’s weakest spots include getting electricity (19th), registering properties (21st), resolving insolvency (27th) and trading across borders (47th).

The World Investment Report 2019 tells the story of foreign direct investment inflow and outflow, ranking Singapore 5th and 8th respectively, in terms of host and home economies, both of which it considers in the state of developing and in transition.

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019 ranks Singapore 17th, sitting between the Republic of Korea (16th) and New Zealand (18th). Singapore experienced a fall of four positions in its ranking since 2017, which might be due to its own performance decreasing or other countries improving theirs.

Bloom Consulting positions Singapore similarly in both of its brand rankings; Trade and Tourism. Ranking 11th, a drop of just one position in the trade edition, the city-state is only just behind in the tourism brand ranker, at 15th, descending two positions since the previous publication.

How’s life in Singapore?

Singaporeans experience a relatively safe and peaceful lifestyle, according to the 2019 Global Peace Index, which ranks Singapore 7th, now just behind Denmark (5th) and Canada (6th).

Safe indeed: Singapore sits among 26 measured nations who received a score of zero, in the 2019 Global Terrorism Index.

Are Singaporeans happy? According to the World Happiness Report, Singapore ranks 31st, scoring the top spot in terms of healthy life expectancy and corruption when ranked against world’s richest countries, and especially the Nordics.

The Corruption Perceptions Index supports this data point, ranking Singapore 4th and thus only behind, or alongside, New Zealand (1st), Denmark (1st), Finland (3rd), Switzerland (4th) and Sweden (4th).

The Social Mobility Report 2020 reveals Singapore’s ease in movement between strata, ranking the city-state 20th with strengths including education; access (8th), quality & equity (4th) and lifelong learning (3rd). In a stark contrast, Singapore ranks 61st for social protection.

Does Singapore contribute to the wellness of the global community?

Having a look into how “good” Singapore is, the CAF World Giving Index ranks Singapore 46th overall, with its divisible score being comprised of helping a stranger (96th), donating money (21st) and volunteering time (59th). That said, Singapore ranks 3rd in terms of rising nations over the last decade, having increased its rank by an average 17 points over the last decade.

The Good Country Index by Simon Anholt ranks Singapore 23rd overall, with its subdivisions in terms of global contribution ranking as follows: prosperity & equality (4th), international peace & security (18th), science (28th), healthy & wellbeing (49th), world order (66th) and planet & climate (72nd).

Lastly, the Environmental Performance Index ranks Singapore 49th, which means that environmental considerations are a key area for improvement for the city-state.

Last updated in May 2020. More country profiles here.

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