10 takeaways from the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2016

By Dale Benton
The fourth edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI) is here, a showcase of the global connectedness, measured by cross-border flows of trade...

The fourth edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI) is here, a showcase of the global connectedness, measured by cross-border flows of trade, capital, information and people.

The 2016 report, which you can access here, has shown that global connectedness has actually surpassed its 2007 pre-crisis peak during 2014.

Clear connectedness:

The Netherlands retained its top rank as the world’s most connected country and Europe is once again the world’s most connected region. All but two of the top 10 most globalized countries in the world are located in Europe, with Singapore and the United Arab Emirates as the standouts. North America is the second most globally connected region and leads on the capital and information pillars, with the United States as the most connected country in the Americas. Overall the US is ranked 27th out of the 140 countries measured by the GCI. North America had the largest gain in overall global connectedness during the past two years, followed by South & Central America & the Caribbean. Countries in South & Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa suffered a drop in their average levels of global connectedness.

Suriname, Jamaica and Fiji were the biggest gainers in terms of rank changes from 2013 to 2015, moving up 23 (112th to 89th), 22 (107th to 85th) and 20 (94th to 74th) places respectively. Suriname’s rise was driven by a substantial broadening of its international interactions, whereas Jamaica and Fiji increased on both the depth and breadth dimensions of their global connectedness. Nigeria, Togo and Nicaragua experienced the largest decreases in terms of overall rank, dropping 28 (67th to 95th), 21 (72nd to 93rd) and 19 (71st to 90th) places respectively.

“Globalization has served as the world’s engine of progress over the past half century,” commented Deutsche Post DHL Group CEO Frank Appel.

 “The GCI documents that globalization has finally recovered from the financial crisis, but faces an uncertain future. It is imperative that policymakers and business leaders support an environment in which globalization can continue to flourish and improve the lives of citizens around the world.”

Ten takeaways from the Global Connectedness Index 2016:

  1. The world’s overall level of global connectedness finally surpassed its precrisis peak during 2014 and continued to increase, but more slowly, in 2015.
  2. While international trade remained under pressure in 2015, increases were reported on the depth (intensity) of capital, people, and especially information flows
  3. Actual levels of global connectedness are still only a fraction of what people estimate them to be, suggesting an opportunity to correct misperceptions and apprehensions.
  4. Distance still matters—even online. Most international flows take place within rather than between regions.
  5. Europe remains the worlds most globally connected region, with 8 of the 10 most connected countries—which reminds us what its disintegration might put at risk.
  6. The Netherlands is the top-ranked country overall; Singapore tops the rankings in terms of depth and the United Kingdom in terms of breadth.
  7. Emerging economies trade as intensively as advanced economies, but advanced economies are four to nine times as deeply integrated into international capital, information, and people flows
  8. Globalization and urbanization combine to prompt strong interest in global cities, but prior research on them is subject to numerous shortcomings.
  9. Singapore tops both of our new city-level globalization indexes: Globalisation Hotspots (cities with the most intense international flows) and Globalization Giants (cities with the largest absolute international flows).
  10. Looking forward, the future of globalization is shrouded in an unusual amount of ambiguity, and depends critically on the choices of policymakers around the world.


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