Gardens by the Bay

SINGAPORE: A 2023 ranking of soft power across the globe was shared in a Reddit Post on Thursday (April 4), placing Singapore 12th on the list.

While Singapore has ranked high in Asia on past soft power indexes from other companies, it doesn’t usually get as high as on the ISSF (Indian Strategic Studies Forum) list published on Reddit.

Soft power is “a persuasive approach to international relations, typically involving the use of economic or cultural influence.” The United States ranks consistently high on different soft power indexes, as do the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and China.

Arguably, the most well-known among soft power indexes is the one published by Brand Finance. Its fifth annual list came out on Feb 29, scoring 193 UN member states on 55 different metrics for an overall score out of 100.

The top 10 for this year are as follows: United States (78.8), United Kingdom (71.8), China (71.2), Japan (70.6), Germany (69.8), France (67.3), Canada (64.4), Switzerland (62.9), Italy (62), and the United Arab Emirates (59.7). Singapore is ranked a respectable 22nd with 54.4 points.

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The ISSF published its second soft power index last August and described itself as “an indocentric, non-partisan think tank taking India’s viewpoint to the world.”

Unfortunately, the link to its full soft power report appears to be broken and cannot be accessed, which may be one of the reasons why commenters expressed doubts in comments on the Reddit post.

Singapore ranking on World Soft Power Index
byu/DrCalFun insingapore

However, ISSF’s top ten has many similarities to Brand Finance’s latest index, though it includes South Korea and Spain instead of Italy and the UAE.

In that order, ISSF’s top ten are the United States, France, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, South Korea, Spain, Canada, and China.

How much soft power does Singapore actually have?

The website, where Singapore was ranked 21st in 2019, says, “The Lion City’s position as a global business hub is the defining strength of Singapore’s soft power, having topped the Enterprise sub-index four years in a row.”

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Brand Finance noted last year that Singapore had moved into the top ten for Nation Brand Strength.

“The highly prosperous city-state serves as the business hub of Southeast Asia and is renowned for its world-class education, healthcare, transport, and low crime levels.

These factors, paired with the nation’s unwavering political stability and commitment to its economic strategy, firmly position Singapore among the world’s strongest Nation Brands.” /TISG

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