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DHL Global Connectedness Index 2016
The State of Globalization in an Age of Ambiguity

Global Connectedness Index 2016

DHL has released the fourth edition of its Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a detailed analysis of the state of globalization around the world. The 2016 report, authored by internationally acclaimed globalization expert Professor Pankaj Ghemawat together with Steven A. Altman, shows that global connectedness, measured by cross-border flows of trade, capital, information and people, surpassed its 2007 pre-crisis peak during 2014. In 2015, globalization's post-crisis expansion slowed, but the data indicate that it did not go into reverse. Currently available evidence - still preliminary in some areas - suggests that the world was about 8% more connected in 2015 than in 2005.

“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.”

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The State of Globalization in an Age of Ambiguity

Globalization is not dead


The world’s overall level of global connectedness finally surpassed its precrisis peak during 2014 and continued to increase, but more slowly, in 2015.

While international trade remained under pressure in 2015, increases were reported on the depth (intensity) of capital, people, and especially information flows.

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.

Distance still matters—even online. Most international flows take place within rather than between regions.

Europe remains the world’s most globally connected region, with 8 of the 10 most connected countries—which reminds us what its disintegration might put at risk.

The Netherlands is the top-ranked country overall; Singapore tops the rankings in terms of depth and the United Kingdom in terms of breadth.

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.

Globalization and urbanization combine to prompt strong interest in global cities, but prior research on them is subject to numerous shortcomings.

Singapore tops both of our new city-level globalization indexes: Globalization Hotspots (cities with the most intense international flows) and Globalization Giants (cities with the largest absolute international flows).

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.