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DHL Global Connectedness Index

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DHL, Febrero de 2013

This second edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index documents both the potential to increase global connectedness and the problems the world has actually encountered in doing so, since the world is less globally connected today than it was in 2007!

The DHL Global Connectedness Index was developed to provide readers the most comprehensive and timely source of hard data and analysis depicting the actual extent and direction of globalization around the world. This second edition has been expanded significantly compared to the first edition as well as being thoroughly updated. Key enhancements in this year’s report include: detailed tracking of how globalized the world is as a whole (Chapter 1), analysis of global connectedness at the industry level (Chapter 3), and brief country case studies illustrating policies to promote connectedness (in Chapter 4). The industry analysis focuses on mobile phones, passenger cars, and pharmaceuticals, and the country cases feature the Netherlands, Vietnam, and Mexico. Fifteen more countries were also added to this year’s index, increasing its coverage to 99% of the world’s GDP and 95% of its population. And to help readers interpret the country profiles at the back of this report, each profile now contains a brief summary at the bottom of the page.

The data behind this year’s report have also been completely refreshed, incorporating both the most recent updates (2011 data for most components) as well as revisions to earlier data going back to 2005. Estimated values that were used in last year’s report were also replaced with actual values where available.

Ten Key Take-Aways

1) The world today is less globally connected than it was in 2007. Global connectedness was hit hard at the onset of the financial crisis and despite modest gains since 2009 has yet to recapture its pre-crisis peak.

2) Capital markets are fragmenting and services trade is stagnant. While merchandise trade has recovered robustly since 2009 and information flows continue growing, capital connectedness is on a declining trend and the intensity of services trade has not risen since 2009.

3) Global connectedness is also weaker than is commonly perceived, which softens and even reverses some widespread fears about globalization.

4) Distance and borders still matter – even online. Most international flows take place within rather than between regions. Even online connections are mainly domestic and decline with distance.

5) Europe is the world’s most globally connected region: a reminder of what EU integration has managed to achieve – and what its fragmentation might put at risk. The Netherlands retains the top rank on this year’s DHL Global Connectedness Index, and 9 of the 10 most connected countries are in Europe.

6) Sub-Saharan African countries averaged the largest connectedness increases. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the least connected region, but the top 5 countries in terms of connectedness increases over the past year were all in this region.

7) Potential gains from boosting global connectedness can reach trillions of dollars. As global growth slows and much of the world struggles with its debts, increasing global connectedness can accelerate growth.

8) Every country has untapped possibilities to benefit from more connectedness. Even in the most connected countries, most activities that could take place either within or across borders are domestic, not international.

9) Countries’ domestic and international policies can help them connect more. This report identifies a broad array of policy levers that have been shown to deepen connectedness.

10) The world’s shifting economic center of gravity reshapes industry connectedness, with significant business implications as shown in this report’s analyses of the mobile phone, passenger car, and pharmaceutical industries.


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