Soft Power Can Promote Wales on the World Stage

A vision of Wales as a self-confident, outward-looking nation, drawing upon its distinctive culture, is painted in a new report from the Learned Society of Wales. 

Wales and the World: Global Partnerships, Local Benefits argues that Wales must draw upon “soft power”, its universities, arts, culture and language, to create a strong international profile in a world reshaped by Brexit and the Covid19 pandemic. The success of such an approach will rely on long-term strategic investment and working closely with UK partners. 

The findings emerged from a series of four Wales and the World events held between 2019-20. Key recommendations included: 

  • national ‘ambassadors’ to promote Wales internationally 
  • increased Welsh Government funding of national arts, cultural and sports institutions 
  • improved use of UK infrastructure, institutions and international initiatives 
  • greater cooperation between Wales’ universities in their international work, and a focus on using overseas students and alumni to promote Wales in the world 
  • Wales’ international strategy must take a long-term view and be ambitious in how it works with partners from outside the confines of government. 

Martin Pollard, Chief Executive of the LSW and author of the report, said: 

“Our Wales and the World series began as a response to the Welsh Government’s international strategy, and the effect that Brexit would have on the UK and Wales’ relations with the rest of the world. 

“Covid19 gave those discussions a new focus, not least because of a growing public appreciation of the role of devolved governments. 

“The report gives practical recommendations to Wales’ government and universities on how they can highlight our unique assets and develop our collective potential in the face of global challenges.” 

The four events were: