The world’s people believe the global balance of power is shifting, but the United States — not China — is still viewed as the leading economic power, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Pluralities or majorities in 22 of the 39 countries surveyed by Pew viewed the U.S. as the country with the strongest economy. A median of 44 percent gave the United States the top spot, compared to 30 percent for China.
But the American public and the populations of Canada and some of the United States’ closest European allies already view China as the dominant economic power, according to Pew’s global attitudes survey. Forty-four percent of Americans opted for China and 39 percent said the United States was No. 1.
In Britain, 53 percent said China belonged in the top spot, while 59 percent of Germans said China is the leading economy. Only 19 percent in Germany said the United States is the world’s leading economy.
Asian, Latin American and African countries tended to think more highly of the United States’ economic clout, and even a plurality of Chinese agreed. Forty-six percent in China said the United States was the leading economy vs. 30 percent for China.
But when it comes to global image, the United States clearly maintained its dominance, according to the survey. A median of 63 percent said they had a favorable opinion of the United States, while only 50 percent said the same about China.
Building on that sentiment, 59 percent of the populations surveyed said they considered the United States a partner, compared to 39 percent for China.
It appears that at least some of China’s image problems stem from its attitude toward personal freedoms. A median of 70 percent said the United States respected the personal freedom of its people, while only a median of 36 percent gave the same answer for China.
“Since the 2008 financial crisis, perceptions about the economic balance of power in the world have been shifting,’’ the study said.
For example, comparing the 20 nations surveyed in both 2008 and 2013, the median percentage that viewed the United States as the dominant world economic power declined from 47 percent to 41 percent — even as China’s star rose. In the same time frame, the median percentage putting China in the leading position rose from 20 percent to 34 percent.
The survey also found that the populations of 23 of 39 nations thought that China had already or would eventually eclipse the United States as the world’s top superpower.
Tapping the world energy market
How do you build an international energy company from a suburban Miami base?
One route is to look for strategic relationships in international markets a company wants to target.
That’s what Doral-based SoEnergy International, which provides power plants and energy solutions, did this summer when it began a strategic partnership with Masaood John Brown International, a United Arab Emirates company that provides services and maintenance services for industrial gas turbines throughout the world. Most of its work involves overhauling GE frame turbines used in power generation.
“What’s interesting for us is they have lots of business in Africa and the Middle East, but they don’t have coverage in Latin America where we do,’’ said Brett Hall, SoEnergy’s vice president of finance.