Romania, Branding and Wally Olins

Wally Olins, creator of the country brands for Spain and Poland, stated at the official launch of his book titled Wally Olins on Brand, he would like to design Romania’s country brand, though he received no offers in this respect yet. Wally Olins stated that his branding consulting services would cost the Romanian State approximately EUR 1 million a year.

Olins added he would accept to be in charge of Romania’s country branding on several conditions: that the authority to which he would report is clearly defined, that authorities understand this is a long-term process and that, in case of a change in political power, the brand research and construction process in Romania will not be suspended.

Ollins is famous worldwide for his contribution to the creation of brands like Orange, Guinness, Renault, Volkswagen and British Telecom. Asked to explain the elements that make a brand successful, Ollins replied:

A brand is expressed through the product, the environment that surrounds it, communication and behavior. An Audi dominate through its presence, Coca-Cola prevails through communication but the Parliament Palace in Bucharest dominates its surroundings through its sheer size. Coca-Cola is that brown drink that has no clear element to define it, but is recognized all over the world.

2007 Index of Economic Freedom

The 2007 Index of Economic Freedom measures and ranks 161 countries across 10 specific freedoms, things like tax rates and property rights.

The 2007 methodology has been revised to provide an even clearer picture of economic freedom by using data-driven equations rather than performance brackets which allows countries to be graded using a percent score rather than a 1.5 rating. In addition, labor freedom has been added as a variable. We continue the tradition of blending “Ten Freedoms” equally to produce a simple, unbiased overall score for each country.

The new methodology (probably) helped US to climb back in the Top 10 after 2 years of absence.

The 10th criteria the top is based on are:

  • Business Freedom
  • Trade Freedom
  • FiscalFreedom
  • Freedom from Gov’t
  • Monetary Freedom
  • Investment Freedom
  • Financial Freedom
  • Property Rights
  • Freedom from Corruption
  • Labour Freedom

Romania managed to get to the 67th place in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, climbing from 125th position in 2005 and 92nd in 2006.

Out of these Romania scored below world average on Monetary Freedom, Property Rights and Freedom from Corruption.

Here is the top 10:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Australia
  4. USA
  5. New Zealand
  6. UK
  7. Ireland
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Canada

Read more about it here.

Related posts

2006 Index of Economic Freedom
2005 Index of Economic Freedom

2006 Corruption Perception Index

cpi2006 mapAs the 2006 Corruption Perception Index is out, Romania is just one place up from the last year survey and still behind countries like Bulgaria and Moldova.

The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index is a composite index that draws on multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector corruption in 163 countries around the world, the greatest scope of any CPI to date. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.

Also, the top 10 remains virtually unchanged from last year:

1 Finland 9,6
1 Iceland 9,6
1 New Zealand 9,6
4 Denmark 9,5
5 Singapore 9,4
6 Sweden 9,2
7 Switzerland 9,1
8 Norway 8,8
9 Australia 8,7
9 Netherlands 8,7

Noteworthy examples of countries whose scores suffered biggest deteriorations from CPI 2005 to CPI 2006 are Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and the United States. In these cases, actual changes in perceptions occurred during the last two years. On the other hand improvements can be observed from 2005 to 2006 for Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.

WikiMapia

Collaboration + tagging + Google Maps = one of the most interesting Google maps applications so far. People are basically tagging places around the world on GMaps.
wikmaps

Here is the link for Bucharest.

Romanian Blogging is Going Mainstream

Besides some long discussed and not that good articles in which romanian mainstream media talked about the growing blogosphere there are some good things happening lately.

hot news bloggingI’ll start with the last that I personally noticed: Hotnews.ro, my favorite news source, started blogging at blog.hotnews.ro. Excellent news and I hope the blog will be at least as good as the site itself. This blogging initiative is basically following the, probably better known, one of Evenimentul Zilei. And more than that there is another blogging attempt: Blogul lui Dinescu, which I was actually expected for a while now. It is a beginning and I’m still looking for some of the big names to jump in.

RoBlogFest 2005More than that, Dragos is hosting the RoBlogFest 2005 2006 . Check it out and go find out more about romanian blogs, read, make up your mind and vote, as you can do it until next thursday, March 9th.

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Romanian Highways

From the category “I live in a country where you can never get bored” here is one thing I think I knew, but never actually saw the numbers:

The time span between the political decision and the inauguration of one kilometer of highway is 58 (yeah fifty eight) months, which means 4 years and 10 months. That because of some time consuming procedures. That means 50 cm of highway daily.

For the romanian language readers, more about it here.

2005 Corruption Perception Index

Romania ranks 85th out of 159 countries in 2005 Corruption Perceptions Index recently published by Transparency International.

The Corruption Perceptions Index, now in its eleventh year, aims to provide data on extensive perceptions of corruption within countries. These perceptions enhance our understanding of real levels of corruption from one country to another. The CPI is a composite index, making use of surveys of business people and assessments by country analysts.

Overall, 16 sources were included in the 2005 CPI, originating from 10 independent institutions and using data compiled between 2003 and 2005.

The first 10 corruption-free countries are:

1. Iceland 9.7
2. Finland / New Zealand 9.6
4 Denmark 9.5
5 Singapore 9.4
6 Sweden 9.2
7 Switzerland 9.1
8 Norway 8.9
9 Australia 8.8

This year’s edition has a special focus on corruption and health although it has some in-depth analysis on some of the problematic countries on the subject, including Romania, as well as a final part which surveys the latest in corruption research.

The Romanian section is of course focused on two main subjects:

  1. Romania’s hopes for accession to the EU in 2007 which depends on it discovering remedies to its deep-seated problems of corruption and the rule of law
  2. Romania’s infrastructure nightmares and all questionable deals that took place in this field

Check the report downloads section here.

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Monitoring Traffic Rankings

Statistici.ro, second romanian traffic monitoring site in romanian web, seems to join forces with the first player in the market, netBridge Investments’s owned trafic.ro.

Well, joining forces is a sort of saying since the old statistici.ro is still up and running while the new one is running on a new web address, http://new.statistici.ro.

The new statisici.ro, more to say, is getting the different satistics and rankings than the original trafic.ro, and finally, instead of having a unified ranking system, we now have three different ones. The mails coming from the new.statistici.ro administrators are not making any refferences to future plans regarding statistics and rankings, there only some thanks addressed to previous developer of statistici.ro, Realmedia Timisoara.

Trafic.ro statistici.ro

The design of the new site, is identical with trafic.ro website (even though way more uglyer color scheme), and there nothing mentioned on the way trafic is checked, as statistics were kind of different between the two.