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Mexico: Latin America’s Most Overlooked Nation

Article Summary:

It should come as no surprise that Mexico’s reputation ranks poorly. Why does reputation matter? It all boils down to economics and being able to facilitate the growth of a nation by having a strong reputation.

Photo Credit: Times for Kids

Original Article Text From Forbes:

Mexico, a “Beautiful Country” With a “Poor” Reputation

Mexico ranked poorly in the Reputation Institute’s 2013 annual list of 50 leading countries. With a score of 47.0, on a scale from 0 to 100, Mexico falls fairly low on the list (No. 35), far below Brazil (No. 21), Peru (No. 23), Chile (No.28) and Argentina (No. 30). However, Mexico can take solace in the fact that there are three Latin American countries that scored even worse: Venezuela (No. 39), Bolivia (No. 41), and Colombia (No. 45).

The Reputation Institute, a global private consulting firm based in Copenhagen and New York that analyzes the reputations of countries, companies, and institutions, ranks the degree to which people trust, admire, respect and have a good feeling for a particular place or their emotional bond to the country. The global average score is 54.6, which corresponds to rank No. 23 (Peru). On a scale from 0 to 100, 0 to 40 means “poor,” 40 to 60 “weak,” 60 to 70 “moderate,” 70 to 80 “strong”, and 80 to 100 “excellent.” With 76.6, Canada, the United States’ other neighbor, tops the list. No country received an excellent grade. The United States’ reputation is found to be “weak” (rank No. 22). With a 57.4 grade, the U.S. failed to place in the top 20 countries.

It should come as no surprise that Mexico’s reputation ranked poorly. Before the eyes of the world, Mexico is a country battling a bloody war with powerful drug cartels that in the past six years resulted in 70,000 people dead and 25,000 missing. Mexico has been condemned by international human rights organizations for systematically violating human rights and criticized for being controlled by governments often better known for their corrupt practices than their efficiency. In an unsuccessful attempt to improve Mexico’s image, the Calderón Administration (2006-2012) signed multi-million dollars contracts with two leading American public relations firms, Qorvis Communications and Ogilvy Public Relations. An official of the current Mexican government said to me, “not only did they not succeed in improving Mexico’s reputation, but they made it worse.” From 2009 to 2012, Mexico’s reputation deteriorated from 48.4 to 45.5. It improved in the last year to 47, still short of the point reached in 2009. It remains to be seen if the new Administration of Enrique Peña Nieto will renew the PR contracts.

The Reputation Institute’s model is a standardized scorecard that measures perceptions based on key performance indicators designed to assess the relative appeal of the country in three dimensions: Advanced Economy, Appealing Environment, and Effective Government. Mexico scored the best in the “beautiful country” category, as well as the categories for “friendly and welcoming people” and “enjoyable country.” By contrast, Mexico’s worse score was in “safety” and “social and economic policies.” With 84.1, Switzerland is considered the most beautiful country, Italy the most enjoyable, and Australians the most friendly and welcoming people. There is also a gap between how Mexicans see themselves and how the outside world sees them. After Russia, China and India, Mexico had the fourth largest gap between internal (self-image) and external perceptions.

Why does reputation matter? The Reputation Institute explains that in an increasingly globalized world, with intensified competition, a country’s reputation matters more than ever. Attracting Foreign Direct Investment, tourists, high skilled workforce and being able to sell the products of the country abroad are all facilitated by having a strong reputation. To compile its data, the Reputation Institute conducted online interviews with 27,000 consumers in the G8 countries from January through March of this year. Countries selected for the survey were those with the largest economies.

Link to Original Article:

From Forbes

  • Robert in Vancouver

    Every time I’ve gone to Mexico (11 times, 11 different places) it feels like they prefer if I just empty my wallet at the airport then get on the plane and go home.

    Some other developing countries have some of the same ‘attitude’ but nothing as blatant as Mexico.

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