April 1, 2013

Exporting culture to China isn't just about profit. It's also an extension of Britain's soft power. Listening to Mamma Mia in Mandarin I was amused to hear that in the chorus of Abba's Money, Money, Money, the singers revert to English...Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats is also touring, and producer Cameron Mackintosh in confident that Les Misérables will follow soon. It is proof that Britain's creative industries are a key export sector, which we can and should be growing.

Ministerial consideration of launching a negative advertising campaign to deter Bulgarians and Romanians from coming to work in Britain next year is "bordering on the farcical", Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, has said.

Rob Gravina just wants to grow the sport he loves. For that reason, and that reason alone, the 47-year-old engineer for IBM organized a 148-person strong travelling party from Great Britain to come to the tri-state area for a week of hockey and cultural exchange.

Our position in the world and how we are perceived from abroad matters economically and politically. A positive image abroad can support export-led growth and inward investment, but also facilitates "soft power" and British influence on the world stage. Has 2012 changed global perceptions and improved brand Britain?

The public aspects, trade, culture, science, are all strong and Britain was one of Israel’s main supporters during last month’s Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza. Last year, Britain changed its universal jurisdiction law, greatly limiting (though not totally ending) the possibility of senior Israeli officials being prosecuted in London.

Monocle may call it 'soft power', but there's nothing soft about the economic dividends that sharing culture can bring. Our own 10 Country British Council research shows that sharing English, education, and culture helps build trust for the UK worldwide, and that trust translates into people worldwide wanting to study in the UK, visit, and do business with us for mutual benefit.

The United Kingdom has been given the world’s top rating by the international magazine Monocle for its use of Soft Power... The magazine singles out everything from Harry Potter to the new James Bond movie to give Britain its top ranking. By contrast it says the United States has slipped from number one because of an introspective year caused by internal politics and the US elections.

The empire strikes back! Britain for the first time has toppled the US to emerge as the most powerful nation in the world when it comes to "soft power", according to a new UK survey. The survey found that Britain projects more positive influence around the world than any other nation.