DHL Unveils Global Connectedness Report for 2024

DHL's report reveals globalisation reached a record high in 2022 and remained close to that level in 2023, despite a series of global shocks

Published every year since 2011, DHL’s Global Connectedness Report is the most comprehensive available analysis of the state and trajectory of globalisation.

The research tracks how flows of trade, capital, information and people move around the world, and ultimately measures the globalisation of 181 countries and territories.

This year’s report, produced by DHL and New York University’s Stern School of Business, reveals globalisation reached a record high in 2022 and remained close to that level in 2023.

These findings come despite a series of global shocks in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, wars in Ukraine and Gaza, the US-China trade conflict and the UK's withdrawal from the European Union

Globalisation: An ‘influential force’

All the aforementioned major global events have, in their own ways, wreaked havoc on trade and supply chains. 

However, evidence documented in the Global Connectedness Report rebuts the notion that the growth of global flows has gone into reverse, with trade growth playing a crucial role in boosting connectedness. 

The share of global output traded internationally was back to a record-high level in 2022 and, following a slowdown in 2023, trade growth is forecast to accelerate in 2024. 

Globalisation of information flows has been especially strong over the past two decades, although the latest data shows a stall in its growth – partly due to less research collaboration between the US and China.

Corporate globalisation, meanwhile, is rising, with companies expanding their international presence and earning more sales abroad.

DHL has unveiled its Global Connectedness Report for 2024. Picture: DHL

“These findings unequivocally dispel the notion of globalisation reversing course,” comments John Pearson, CEO at DHL Express

“Far from merely being a buzzword, globalisation is an influential force that has profoundly reshaped our world and has further great potential. Expanding markets and fostering opportunities empower individuals, businesses, and entire nations to flourish in unique ways.

“Embracing globalisation allows us and our customers to forge a promising future, fostering an increasingly interconnected world, more prosperous for all – and poised for further growth.”

Overall, the report rates the world's current level of globalisation at 25%, on a scale of 0% (meaning no flows cross national borders) to 100% (borders and distance have ceased to matter at all) – highlighting the considerable potential to continue growing global flows.

DHL ranks Singapore as most globalised nation

DHL’s latest report Singapore as the world’s most globalised country, followed by the Netherlands and Ireland. 

Singapore is ranked by DHL as the world's most globalised country

In total, 143 countries were found to have become more globally connected over the past 12 months, with just 38 seeing their levels of connectedness decline.

Further evidence shows Europe is the world’s most globally-connected region, followed by North America and the Middle East & North Africa.

“Singapore has invested heavily in strengthening its physical and digital connectivity to the world because trade is our lifeblood,” adds Ih-Ming Chan, EVP of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

“We continue to enhance our connectivity and trade links to remain a critical and trusted node in global supply chains, facilitating international trade and flows of capital, information and talent. 

“We look forward to partnering with global companies seeking a launchpad for business growth and supply chain expansion in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.”

Read the full report: DHL Global Connectedness Report 2024

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