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Indians rank US highly, rate the country as most favourable

Source: PTI
June 13, 2008 17:52 IST
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The popularity of the United States in India has shot up dramatically since 2002, in a period in which Uncle Sam's image took a beating globally, a survey has said.

America turned out to be the most popular in India, with its ratings rising up to 71 per cent, up from 54 per cent in the summer of 2002, in the survey conducted by an independent body -- the Pew Research Centre - over 16 nations to assess favourabilty ratings of five major countries.

Besides, India is the only country outside the US where a majority of people sounded soft on President George W Bush, who fared poorly in the popularity contest, trailing behind even the former British PM Tony Blair.

Fifty four per cent of the people surveyed in India expressed confidence in the leadership of the President as against 17 per cent in Turkey and 24 per cent in Lebanon.

The image of the North American country as a land of opportunities also received a setback, as most of the surveyed populations preferred Australia, Canada, Great Britain and even Germany as a favoured destination.

Yet again, only in India, which has over a million expats living in America, the country is seen as the world's leading land of opputunity, with 38 per cent of the Indians surveyed rating the country as their first choice.

The survey also sought opinions from people around the world on their expectations from the next US president.

While optimism emerged from the countries like France, Spain and Germany, where public opposition to Bush's policies in Iraq and elsewhere has been strong, people surveyed in India, South Africa and Nigeria, where criticism of current US policies has been less pronounced also sounded hopeful.

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