China has continued to narrow the gap to long-standing leader the United States in an annual measurement of national brand value, despite the world's top 100 most-valuable nation brands registering a monumental loss of $13.1 trillion because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brand Finance, a London-based consultancy, says in a newly released annual report about the most valuable nation brands that the total brand value of the top 100 nations fell, from $98 trillion in 2019 to $84.9 trillion in 2020, with almost every nation feeling a significant impact on their economies from the health crisis.
The US and China remain a cut above the rest, claiming the top two positions in this year's ranking after recording national brand values of $23.74 trillion and $18.76 trillion respectively, according to the report.
Top 10 Most Valuable Nation Brands. BRETT DIETRICH/CHINA DAILY
Relations between the two remain fragile and trade disputes have impacted both economies during recent years.
China's brand value has remained largely stable, with a modest 4 percent drop this year. The government's quick response to the COVID-19 outbreak coupled with its targeted stimulus measures in recent months are believed to have resulted in it becoming the first major economy to recover from the pandemic. It is currently expected to be the only G20 nation with positive growth in 2020.
The US, which is now home to both the most cases and most deaths from COVID-19, continues to encounter criticism and questions on the global stage, and saw a 14 percent fall in its brand value.
With Joe Biden announced as the winner of the 2020 presidential election after one of the most controversial and divided races in US history, the country is likely to chart a new course and change many of the policies pursued under current President Donald Trump.
Despite this political uncertainty, the report stated US brands' sheer dominance and success globally will always provide the nation's economy and reputation with a strong safety net. The US brands Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft claimed four out of the top five spots in the year's Brand Finance Global 500.
David Haigh, chief executive officer at Brand Finance, said: "We are once again witnessing China inch ever closer behind the US in our ranking of the world's most valuable nation brands. This year has proven that there is nowhere to hide when it comes to a nation's economic performance and China has shown its ability to recover at a meteoric pace－providing a beacon of hope that recovery can happen on the global stage too."
With the pandemic wreaking havoc on nation brand values globally, the top 10 suffered a brand value loss of 14 percent on average. Japan fared better than many counterparts, recording a 6 percent brand value fall, to $4.26 trillion. It inched up the rankings to claim third place.
Germany fell to fourth after a 21.5 percent brand value decrease, to $3.81 trillion. The United Kingdom remained in fifth position with a 14 percent fall in brand value, to $3.32 trillion.
Vietnam is the fastest-growing nation brand in the new ranking, with its value skyrocketing 29 percent, to $319 billion. The country has recorded few COVID-19 cases and deaths and has emerged as one of the top locations within the Southeast Asian region for manufacturing and an attractive destination for investors. Argentina experienced the biggest drop in brand value, plummeting 57 percent, to $175 billion. COVID-19 cases there recently passed the 1 million mark, making it the smallest nation to hit the unenvied milestone.
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