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Saudi Arabia’s government tops Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer report

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For the second year in a row, the government of Saudi Arabia has maintained high levels of confidence as one of the most trusted governments in the world, according to the results of Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer report.

The levels of confidence in the performance of Saudi Arabia’s government increased from 78 percent in January 2020 to 82 percent in January 2021, adding to its balance 4 percentage points that qualified it to be at the forefront of the 28 countries included in the index as the highest government in the world with confidence in its performance.


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According to the report, China shared the top spot with Saudi Arabia at 82 percent while the UAE came in third place at 80 percent in terms of trust in government.

The 2021 Trust Barometer is Edelman's 21st annual trust and credibility survey. The research, conducted by Edelman Data & Intelligence (DxI), surveyed a sample of more than 33,000 respondents in 28 markets, including Nigeria for the first time, this year.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia’s government remains the most trusted institution in general, outperforming the other categories including businesses, up by 73 percent, NGOs at 61 percent, and the media at 60 percent.

“The government in the Kingdom had the highest ranking internationally in the context of its handling of the biggest health challenge the world witnessed, represented by the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing medical care, coronavirus detection devices and vaccines to citizens and residents for free, as well as its leadership of the efforts of the international community in the issue of developing vaccines and supporting medical research and experiments,” the Saudi Press Agency said in a report following Edelman’s release of the trust report.

Saudi physician Hala Alkattan prepares to inject a Pfizer vaccine at a new coronavirus vaccination center, at the Jeddah old airport, Saudi Arabia. (File photo: AP)
Saudi physician Hala Alkattan prepares to inject a Pfizer vaccine at a new coronavirus vaccination center, at the Jeddah old airport, Saudi Arabia. (File photo: AP)

Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer revealed that although the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated personal and societal concerns, worries about job loss and climate change have overtaken those linked to the coronavirus.

“The past year was no doubt marked by uncertainty and a decline in trust in information sources, with one in two people citing their employer communications as the most believable source of information above traditional media, and just after government communications,” said Omar Qirem, CEO of Edelman Middle East.

“However, retaining and increasing this trust in 2021 will be directly linked to how organizations, and their leaders, take action to meet these new societal needs, where reskilling and upskilling and a purpose-driven attitude will be crucial,” Qirem added.

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