Our swagger is big, but others are unconvinced


But when it comes to self-belief, Australia is without peer; Australians are more positive about themselves than any other of the 33 nations that took part in the institute’s wider survey.

Japan and South Africa registered the lowest self-image, and China, Russia and India recorded the greatest gap between how they perceived themselves and how others saw them. Oliver Freedman, the general manager of AMR Interactive, which conducted the research, said: ”When it comes to the physical beauty and overall lifestyle we are doing a very good job of communicating with the rest of the world, but there’s been a lack of communication about other areas such as our inventiveness and innovation.”

Despite creating a good impression overall, coming behind the leaders Switzerland and Canada, Australia failed to make it into the top five in key areas such as innovation, technological advancement, culture and social welfare, the survey of 22,000 people found. That did not stop citizens of Group of Eight countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Britain and the US – from ranking Australia as the fourth most likely place to invest in.

Mr Freedman said: ”My guess is that Australia has weathered the financial crisis very well; we are last in and first out. We have a very strong resources sector so from a general [shares] investor point of view Australia does make sense.”

In August the Trade Minister, Simon Crean, sought to address this issue with a $20 million project to develop a new brand for Australia to encourage investment. Responding to the survey’s results, a spokeswoman for Austrade said Australia needed to ”leverage this confidence we have in ourselves” for the new brand

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