FutureBrand, a US consulting firm, recently published its yearly Global Brand Index (GBI) report, which, among other things, highlights the rise of Latin America. Although Latin America still has a ways to go when compared with other regions the report shows marked improvements in global brand perception for some countries. In particular, Brazil scaled 10 positions to #31 and Chile moved up 6 positions to #34. Though Costa Rica still is tops in the region at #24, the aforementioned countries are notable because of improvements in business and technology related areas.
As noted by America Economica magazine, these countries as well as Argentina (#32) have the strongest “Good for business” rankings with strong showings in their business and investment environments. Though the report singles out Brazil and Chile as stars, it includes Peru (#44) and Mexico (#47), along with the aforementioned countries, within the top tier. Canada, Switzerland and New Zealand hold the top spots with the United States dropping two spots to number 6.
Several Latin American countries are focusing much effort and resources towards developing vibrant startup ecosystems. For instance, initiatives such as Startup Chile are still refining their programs, but an ancillary result of such initiatives is their potential for raising awareness of their country brands. Evidently, some countries in the region are more cognizant of the importance of promoting a business friendly image than others.
Recentlly a report from Centre for Economics and business Research (CEBR) ,informed that Brazil overtaken the UK to become the world’s sixth-largest economy. In the past year Brazil expanded at a three percent rate in 2011 and is projected to grow five percent in 2012. Just remember that China China invested around USD 4.5 billion in Brazil’s technology sector in 2011.
Brands have a lot to do with perception. In today’s global economy, Latin American countries need to understand that they are being compared to other countries around the world and act accordingly. If attracting foreign investment (such as from technology focused Venture Capital firms) is a country objective, a weak brand can create unwelcome friction. As a region, the report is generally positive about Latin America as region, but some countries have quite a bit of work to do.