It may be the prime minister's leadership style or his full mane of hair, but the 'Trudeau Effect' has vaulted Canadian businesses into the 'world's most trusted' category.

Currently sharing first place with Switzerland and Sweden, Canadian businesses have been bumped up from second place last year, according to an annual survey carried out by the Edelman public relations firm.

“We’re dubbing the rebound in trust and optimism the ‘Trudeau effect’ because the study was done in the immediate aftermath of the federal election and indicates a sense of exuberance among Canadians,” Lisa Kimmel, president of Edelman Canada, said in a statement.

Source: Edelman.

According to Edelman, trust in Canadian businesses fell last year in the wake of bad economic news. Back then, the former Conservative government of Stephen Harper was still firmly in charge and presided over a global slump in crude oil prices that affected Canada's oil patch.

But Edelman pointed to Justin Trudeau's attendance at the Davos Summit as a possible turning point for Canadian business, as the PM's charm offensive may have helped re-establish Canada as an international force, according to some experts.

" in all of Canada’s institutions is on a sharp incline, driven primarily by the informed public – those who have a higher income, level of education, and media consumption habits, and thereby have been exposed to high doses of the new and media-savvy Prime Minister’s tactics in public engagement," read a statement on Edelman's website.

But Edelman learned that corporate chief executives are only trusted by 37 per cent of those people surveyed, even as business trust bounces back under PM Trudeau. Only 29 per cent of Canadians feel that CEO pay is a fair reflection of their work. What's more, Edelman found that only 28 percent of the general population in Canada felt CEOs could relate to people like them.

Keep reading