• Switzerland edition
 
Switzerland slips in global ranking
Denis Nordmann (File)

Switzerland slips in global ranking

Published: 27 Dec 2011 11:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Dec 2011 10:35 GMT+01:00

Switzerland has retained its place among the top ten most attractive countries in the world, according to the 2011 Nation Brands Index, but the country has dropped a spot since last year. 

Switzerland claimed 9th position in the 2011 index, four places lower than in 2005, the first year the survey was conducted.

Switzerland's image has suffered in recent years, although the country is still appreciated for its governance, described as "competent" and "honest," for its quality of life, its measures to protect the environment, and its contribution to science, said a statement from Presence Switzerland, the federal body tasked with managing and boosting the image of the country abroad.  

The Nation Brands Index rates the strength and attractiveness of 50 countries every year according to six criteria: exports, governance, tourism, investments and immigration, culture and heritage, and people.

Despite jokes about how much they dislike their Alpine neighbours, Germans rate Switzerland the second most attractive country in the world. China and Russia both rank it 5th, while Turkey and the United States place it in 6th and 7th position, respectively.  

The three most attractive countries in the world are the United States, Germany and Britain, according to the Nation Brands Index.

The perception of Switzerland changes when foreign media, rather than the general public, are asked for their say.

"Abroad, we are very much loved by the public, [but] the media are more critical," Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland, told newspaper Le Matin.

For the first time, the federal department of Foreign Affairs has been monitoring and analyzing the tone of media around the world in articles covering Switzerland.  

Foreign press reports were especially critical of fiscal issues and Swiss bank scandals, such as a indictment involving banking giant Julius Bär, or the UBS rogue trader who lost the bank 2 billion francs.

Other topics that made international headlines were the disappearance of twins Alessia and Livia, the presentation of a solar ski lift in canton Graubünden, and the initiative to remove weapons from homes, which fascinated the US and German media.

Even though the image of Switzerland in foreign media leans towards the negative and its overall attractiveness has deteriorated, Bideau stressed that the country still enjoys an excellent reputation beyond its borders.

“We’re still loved,” he told Le Matin.

Meritxell Mir (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

2011-12-27 12:04:56 by Kathryn
What your citizens say should count 1st and 2nd is what your neighbors say. From far away your image is beautiful and peaceful. What more can you ask?
Today's headlines
Swiss group's bid for cat quotas creates buzz
Photo: Joel Dietle

Swiss group's bid for cat quotas creates buzz

A proposal by a Swiss animal protection group to set a limit of one cat per household in Switzerland is attracting international attention. READ  

Basel tackle Liverpool in Champions League duel
FC Basel coach Paulo Sousa: "We'll be stronger." Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Basel tackle Liverpool in Champions League duel

Liverpool are confident that they can put a frustrating run of domestic form behind them when they face FC Basel in Switzerland in Champions League Group B football action on Wednesday. READ  

Bern police seek help after boy dies in woods
Köniz church, near where the body was found. Photo: Ikiwaner/Wikimedia Commons

Bern police seek help after boy dies in woods

Police in the canton of Bern on Monday launched a bid for help from the public after the body of a 15-year-old boy was found in the woods near Köniz. READ  

Immigration continues to boost Swiss population
Foreign immigration continues to zoom: crowd watches Swiss air force jet in Bernese Oberland. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/File

Immigration continues to boost Swiss population

Immigration is largely responsible for an increase in Switzerland’s population to 8.14 million at the end of 2013, up just over 100,000 from the previous year, according to latest government figures. READ  

Mediterranean migrant death toll hits new high

More than 3,000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, more than double the previous peak in 2011, the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration said on Monday. READ  

UBS offers share swap for new holding company
Photo: Martin Abegglen

UBS offers share swap for new holding company

Switzerland’s largest bank UBS is setting up a holding company to allow its operations to be broken up more easily in the event of a financial crisis. READ  

Roche touts new breast cancer drug success
Photo: Roche

Roche touts new breast cancer drug success

A drug developed by Swiss giant Roche to treat an aggressive form of breast cancer has been shown to extend patients' lives by almost 16 months, researchers say. READ  

'Giant's penis' bloom in Basel bigger than ever
Visitors admire bloom of the titan arum. Photo: University of Basel botanical garden.

'Giant's penis' bloom in Basel bigger than ever

An exotic plant known as the “giant’s penis” at the University of Basel’s botanical garden is flowering with its biggest ever bloom, university officials said on Sunday. READ  

Bid to cut VAT on restaurant meals fails
The Cheval Blanc restaurant in Basel: voters oppose reduction in sales tax on restaurant meals. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Bid to cut VAT on restaurant meals fails

Swiss voters on Sunday massively opposed a bid to reduce the valued-added tax (VAT) charged on food served in Swiss restaurants. READ  

Swiss reject public health insurance plan
Campaign posters promoting a single health insurance public system in Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Swiss reject public health insurance plan

As expected, Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a plan to ditch the country's all-private health insurance system and create a publicly-run scheme. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Scientific study rings alarm over wellbeing of Swiss cows with bells
National
Professional Chilean base jumper dives to death in Swiss Alps
Education
ETH Zurich remains top university in Europe: QS world rankings
National
Switzerland's housing vacancy rate jumps: new federal figures
National
Swiss football club fires team masseuse over explicit sex video
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
Sponsored Article
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,096
jobs available