Estonia is the world’s fastest-growing nation brand – report

According to a report by BrandFinance, a directory of brand values and company profiles, Estonia is the world’s fastest-growing nation brand.

The company’s report, Nation Brands 2021, that BrandFinance calls “the annual report on the most valuable and strongest nation brands”, says Estonia recorded a 38-per cent brand value growth from 2020 and is outpacing modest increases across the ranking.

“The Baltic state had invested in digital infrastructure long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Anyone around the world can apply for e-residency in Estonia, which allows them to run an EU-based company online, and a staggering 99% of the country’s governmental services are offered online,” the report says.

“Estonia is this year’s fastest-growing nation brand largely thanks to its world-class digital infrastructure,” David Haigh, the chairman and CEO of BrandFinance, said in a statement.

Pandemic uncertainty still lingers

“With some of the leading economies having their digital shortcomings highlighted during the pandemic, Estonia’s digital-first model should be one for others to follow.”

In April 2020, the Estonian startup community organised a global hackathon to create solutions that help people stop the spread of the coronavirus and stimulate the economy. Photo by Garage48.

The total brand value of top 100 in the BrandFinance Nation Brands ranking has grown by 7% year on year, but remains lower, compared with the pre-COVID-19 levels, according to the brand directory.

“Although this is a positive sign, uncertainty lingers and nation brand values have not reached pre-pandemic levels yet. At US$90.8 trillion, this year’s total brand value of the top 100 ranking is still 7% lower, compared to 2019.”

The United States and China remain in a league of their own, claiming the first and second spot in the ranking, respectively. According to BrandFinance, the US has recorded a 5% brand value increase to US$24.8 trillion in a year that has been marked by great political and economic change with President Joe Biden taking the helm.

China recovered at a “meteoric pace”

“Similarly, China saw a 6% uptick in nation brand value to US$19.9 trillion. Both nations have celebrated economic recovery since the outbreak of the pandemic, contributing to their uplift in brand value. China’s economy was the first to recover – doing so at a meteoric pace – as the only nation to register positive GDP growth at the end of 2020 and growing at record pace in the first quarter of this year.”

Shanghai’s skyline. Photo by Road Trip with Raj/Unsplash.

The countries following the US and China in the report are Japan, Germany, the UK and France. India is positioned seventh, Canada eighth, Italy ninth and South Korea tenth.

Estonia’s overall ranking is 75th, up from the 82nd position in 2020.

Finland is ranked 37th in this year’s ranking, down from the 36th place the year before; Lithuania is 65th, up from the 71st position in 2020; Latvia is ranked 79th, up one position from the 2020 ranking. Russia is ranked 16th, down two positions from the last year’s rankings.

BrandFinance is a directory of brand values and company profiles, updated annually since 2008. It evaluates the strength and value of over 5,000 global brands.

Cover: e-Estonia showroom in Tallinn. Photo by Jelena Rudi. The image is illustrative.

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