The Portland Soft Power 30 Report sees France push the UK to 2nd place, while the US drops to 5th.
Statement from the Chief Executive of the British Council Sir Ciarán Devane on this year’s Portland Soft Power 30 rankings:
“It is great the UK remains in the top two of the world’s soft powers for the fourth year. After three years of intense debate, this demonstrates that soft power is about much more than current politics.
“Our universities and our arts organisations, our creativity and our entrepreneurship, our language, technology and our culture, they all help the UK be seen as a place to be admired, respected and trusted.
“Sustaining that trust however means we need to be active on the global stage, contributing to societies around the world. Just as important, we must provide our young people with international experiences to support them to be truly global in outlook, proud of who they are while open to new ideas and experiences.
“France’s prime position is well-deserved. It values international political cooperation, but also shares its enthusiasm for arts and culture through its extensive cultural and language teaching centres. The effect is to build its reputation as a country to be respected around the world.
“However, the decline of US soft power may act as a caution that if a country becomes so internally focussed, it risks losing trust and influence.”