What makes a forum of 36 thousand people originating from the world’s largest economies (group of eight-G8) to place Portugal among the twenty best countries (ie in the 19th place) in the reputation ranking for countries? Surely it isn’t the public deficit, which is amongst the highest in Europe, topping 119% of the Gross National Product. This is for sure, a very unsatisfactory condition for us, so let us take a closer look to uncover this secret.
The reputation ranking measures the world’s most reputable countries across several dimensions (culture, governance, people, exports, tourism, investment and immigration) that can include variables such as trust and admiration or respect that the local populations can produce on others vis-à-vis political stability, the existence of strong social structures or even GNP values.
Portugal, a country known for its peaceableness, well preserved traditions, and advances in technology which allows the necessary stability to attract foreign investment, was the only country in Europe that the American Government deemed as safe territory against hostilities towards the citizens of the United States, following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Despite the crisis in Portugal, perhaps more external than internal, taking into account this report from the Reputation Institute, the country is considered a safe destination for foreign investment. Portugal continues to be a country where real estate has been impacted minimally in the property bubble, and has even had a slight appreciation with regard to inflation.
This perception is not always aligned when viewed from the outside as compared to how it is viewed from the inside. The Reputation Institute , a global private consulting firm based in New York and Copenhagen, produces graphs that compares the values of self-esteem of the population with the perception that foreigners have of these same countries. There are major economic powers like Japan, where the internal self-esteem is much lower than the admiration that foreigners have for the Japanese people.
I really don’t know if Japan exercises self-promotion regarding the country and its cities, enhancing the favorable image it has in the eyes of other populations, but I know that Portugal takes little advantage of these opportunities that have been handed on a silver platter.
And yet it’s high time to add other names and other personalities, not limiting it to three or four well-known football (soccer) heavyweights, that are retired or still active, referred with sympathy by foreigners with whom we cross when we identify ourselves as Portuguese. The time has arrived to make Portugal trendy again. To Portugal and to all of us.
Article originally published in the newspaper SOL on page 51, edition of October 4th, 2012 and translated by BestInPortugal.com under permission of the author, Luís Lima, President of APEMIP – The Association of Professionals and Real Estate Companies of Portugal | www.apemip.pt
Image credits: photo of Albufeira by BestInPortugal.com | photo of Luis Lima from www.apemip.pt