Singapore was ranked 21st in The Soft Power 30 list – an annual global ranking of soft power – retaining its position from last year.
The island state is the only ASEAN country to make the list of top 30s released by Portland in partnership with the University of Southern California Centre on Public Diplomacy.
For the fourth year running, Singapore topped the Enterprise sub-index, after overtaking Switzerland in 2016.
“Where Singapore has found success in using soft power is in areas where not just values are aligned, but interests,” wrote Bilahari Kausikan, Chairman of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore, in an analysis accompanying the report.
“Singapore’s strong rule of law, predictable and stable system of government, and business-friendly regulation have all helped it attract international companies, foreign investment, and global talent,” he added.
Meanwhile, France tops the index this year, underpinned by long-standing, fundamental soft power resources that have always kept it in the top five of The Soft Power 30. The country’s chief assets include its world-leading diplomatic network, unrivalled presence in multilateral organisations, and the wide appeal of French culture.
On the other hand, the UK has dropped one place, following a surprise first place finish last year. This was primarily a result of a weaker polling performance – indicating that the unruly and chaotic Brexit process is now weighing on British soft power.
American soft power fell again in 2019, its third year-on-year drop in the overall rankings.