WASHINGTON: Pakistan has emerged as 20th most powerful country in the world in a new global ranking of “Best Countries” and the nation was also ranked 74th in overall top countries category.
The ranking from US News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and global brand consultants BAV Consulting, also saw United States falling from 4th position to 7th this year in overall best countries category. Switzerland has been ranked the No.1 country in the world.
Pakistan’s arch rival India is ranked 16th most powerful country while in overall best countries category, the South Asian country grabbed 25th position. In terms of being an influential country in the world, Pakistan is ranked at 40th while in education category, the country is last among 80 evaluated countries.
The 2017 Best Countries rankings are based on a survey, conducted after the US presidential election, that asks 21,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens what their views are of certain aspects of different countries. The rankings are designed in a similar way to other US News's rankings of colleges, hospitals and cars.
In the category of most powerful nations, United States has been ranked No1 followed by Russia, China, the United Kingdom and Germany. Pakistan was ranked 61 among movers and upcoming economies, 59th in entrepreneurship category, 63rd in study abroad, 66th in Starting a business, 67th in heritage, 68th in open for business, 69th in green living, 70th in cultural influence 70th in women, 75th in headquarter a corporation, 76th in citizenship, 76th in transparency, 77th in quality of life, 78th in adventure, 78th in forward looking, 79th in raising children and 79th in travel alone category.
Nearly 90 percent of global survey respondents outside the US said that they paid attention to the US election. Hillary Clinton would have won the global election, with nearly 60 percent of the global vote. Support for Donald Trump was 83 percent in Russia.
According to the rankings, perceptions of the United States in a number of areas have dropped over the past year. The United States dropped in rankings for business, citizenship, adventure tourism, education, transparency and headquartering a corporation. Nearly 75 percent of survey respondents said they had lost some respect for US leadership after the 2016 presidential election.
The rankings evaluate 80 top countries across a range of criteria, from power and economic influence to citizenship and quality of life, to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale.
Switzerland debuts as the world’s “top” country, in part because of its progressive social systems, protection of human rights and business-friendly environment. Last years’ runner up Canada maintained its position this year while UK also held fast to its third position despite Brexit vote suggesting that the initial shock of its vote to leave the European Union may have stabilised.
Germany, last year’s No.1 best overall country, slipped to No.4 after dips in three important categories: open for business, citizenship and quality of life. The nation was rocked by a range of events - from growing public anxiety over an influx of refugees to a string of deadly terror attacks.
Japan, a clear leader in Asia, moved up two positions to No.5 this year. Its giant Asian rival China is ranked 20 among over all best countries. Japan scored in the top 10 for categories including entrepreneurship, up-and-coming economies and countries with the most cultural influence.
Nordic nations - known for their forward-looking social and environmental policies - continue to dominate the rankings, with Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark in the top 15 overall. Sweden is named the best country for women, for raising children and for green living. Countries in Asia and the Middle East have the most up-and-coming economies, with the United Arab Emirates ranked No.1. Thailand remains No.1 for starting a business, and Malaysia is the best to invest in. Switzerland is the best to headquarter a corporation and New Zealand is the best for retirement.
Panama is the most business-friendly nation, while Canada takes the top spots for education and quality of life. Italy again ranks as the nation with the richest tradition and Brazil is the No.1 country to visit.