While Belgium has a strong reputation abroad, Belgians themselves are very negative about the reputation of their own country.
Remarkably, Belgian citizens rate their own country’s reputation much lower than the G8 citizens: 56.17 compared to 65.74. In 2011, the difference between Belgium’s self-image score and our country’s reputation abroad was already important (-4.78); it is even more considerable in 2012 ( -9.57). Belgium has the worst self-image score (except from Mexico), and the biggest discrepancy between the local and international perception of the 30 countries in which self-image was measured.
According to Wally Olins, one of the foremost experts on country brands and identity, the discrepancy might result from the political turmoil during the last years, which leads Belgians to look rather in dissonance to their country’s identity.
The fact that Belgium still has a strong reputation abroad, might be explained by looking at the first 10 countries in the list. Most of them have relatively small populations (making it easier to control an country image) and are apt at speaking English. Both characteristics apply to Belgium as well.
Apparently, Canada and Australia are some of the most admired countries in the world.