China has maintained its spot as the world's second-most valuable national brand, with its worth rising 25 percent year-on-year to $12.8 trillion, second only to the United States, at $25.9 trillion, according to a report.
The Nation Brands 2018 report released by London-based consultancy Brand Finance revealed China continues to perform well despite prospects of a protracted trade dispute with the US, highlighting the robustness of the Chinese economy.
David Haigh, Brand Finance CEO, said the rising value of China's nation brand was a consequence of its global leadership, pro-business outlook and 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 enhanced protection of intellectual property will make for a further improved business environment in the years to come," Haigh said.
The report also put the rise of China's brand value down to the world-class infrastructure and highly educated workforce in booming cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, listing them among the world's best places to do business.
In recent years China has shifted its focus from commoditized production to building world-class brands, such as Huawei and Alibaba, and this success has reinforced the strength of the nation brand, the report said.
Singapore has claimed the title of the world's strongest nation brand once again this year, earning a Brand Strength Index 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 two percentage 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 efforts to combat climate change at a time when the US is turning toward protectionism and prioritizing its own interests over a collaborative energy policy.