DHL has released the second edition of the DHL Global Connectivity Index (GCI), a comprehensive analysis of the state of globalization around the world. The report, drawing on over one million data points from 2005 to 2011, concludes that the world today is less globally connected than it was in 2007.
It documents how global connectedness, measured by international flows of trade, capital, information and people, grew robustly from the report’s baseline year of 2005 to 2007, and then dropped sharply at the onset of the financial crisis. Despite modest gains since 2009, global connectedness has yet to recapture its pre-crisis peak.
While the world as a whole experienced only a very modest increase in global connectedness from 2010 to 2011, some individual countries had large gains. The countries with the largest increases in their global connectedness scores from 2010 to 2011 are Mozambique, Togo, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia – all of which are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. While this region remains the world’s least connected, it averaged the largest connectedness increases from 2010 to 2011.
The Netherlands retained its 2010 position as the world’s most connected country. Of the top ten most connected countries in 2011, nine of them are located in Europe. This is the world’s most connected region.
Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express in Sub-Saharan Africa says that the GCI also reveals that in 2011, intra-Africa trade continues to lag far behind its European and Asian counterparts. “If we want to improve this interconnectivity, we need to look at the ease of doing business across borders in the region and work towards regional trade agreements, customs improvements and border efficiencies, to name just a few.”
Brewer says that from a global perspective, the GCI 2012 indicates that today’s volatile and uncertain business environment bears the lasting impact of the financial crisis. “In this period of slow growth, it’s important to remember the tremendous gains that globalization has brought to the world and recognise it as an engine of economic progress. It is crucial that governments around the globe resist protectionist measures that hinder cross-border interactions.”