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On March 22, Kateryna Zarembo took part in the discussion “Global Soft Power Index 2021: Case of Ukraine”

On March 22, the Ukrainian Institute organized a discussion on Ukraine’s performance on the Global Soft Power Index, which is conducted annually by the independent consulting company Brand Finance. In the ranking, which measures the level of familiarity of a country, its reputation, and influence, Ukraine took 61st place out of 100.

During her speech, Kateryna Zarembo remarked the following:

  • This presentation proves that soft power and values can be “spread on bread” (an idiom coined by Ukrainian historian Yaroslav Hrytsak), i.e. they can be converted into a monetary equivalent.
  • Ukraine’s perception within the country is very different from its perception abroad. There are many examples of Ukrainian soft power, but they are under-communicated in other countries.
  • Ukraine’s strengths for the countries of the region are democratic elections, active attempts to resolve the conflict, popular TV programs, and confectionery. This is what makes the country a trendsetter and influencer in the region.
  • The war significantly hinders Ukraine’s self-promotion efforts. According to a New Europe Center public opinion survey, European citizens’ top association with Ukraine is a war.
  • In the region, Ukraine is perceived as a “democracy trial story.” At the same time, as the examples of Russia and China show, even autocracies can be popular and attractive in the world. And this is really bad news for all of us.

Participants of the discussion:

  • Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine;
  • Steve Thomson, Insight Director of Brand Finance;
  • Volodymyr Sheiko, Director General of the Ukrainian Institute;
  • Parul Soni, Associate, Brand Finance;
  • Alina Frolova, Strategic Advisor, Founder at StratCom Ukraine.

The full video recording of the discussion is available here.

Text: New Europe Center

Photo: Ukrainian Institute