In turbulent times, decision-makers in business and politics need not only forecasts, but reliable insights into actual international economic movements. These are provided by the DHL Global Connectedness Index, compiled regularly by DHL together with the NYU Stern School of Business. The current issue refutes the oft-cited trend of a comprehensive retreat from globalization and emphasizes once again the potential of a more connected world.
No End to Globalization in Sight – though Serious Threats
Since the Brexit referendum, the ongoing economic tensions between the U.S. and China, or after the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and the Ukraine war on global supply chains, experts have seen it coming: the end of globalization with a return to national or regional economic self-sufficiency.
The figures of the latest DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI) on the current state and prospects of globalization tell a different story: The GCI evaluates international flows in the four areas of trade, capital, information, and people. For the current 2022 edition, more than four million data points were evaluated, covering 171 countries and thus 99.7 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and 96 percent of the world's population.
Three questions are of central interest:
- Are global flows still growing?
- Is geopolitical rivalry fracturing the global economy?
- Are international flows becoming more regional?
The most important answer right at the beginning: After the index declined slightly due to the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020, it is now significantly above the pre-pandemic level. However, this does not mean that globalization is irreversible. Geopolitical conflicts, new pandemics, or protectionist economic policies still pose serious threats to international trade flows. The current recovery should be utilized by policymakers to shape globalization so that the benefits can flourish and the “side effects” – such as delivery problems due to a disrupted supply chain – can be managed more effectively.
The latest numbers may surprise some readers. They clearly show that international flows have been remarkably robust in the face of today’s headwinds.
Dr. Frank Appel CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group
Three Key Takeaways from the Global Connectedness Index
The GGI provides a profound overview of globalization.
Three of the many findings stand out:
- The Netherlands still is the most globally connected country, followed by Singapore and Belgium.
- The most globally connected world region is Europe, where eight of the ten most connected countries are located.
- Although the economies of the USA and China are decoupling increasingly, there is no convincing evidence that the global economy is breaking up into blocs.
This and much more you can find in the new DHL Global Connectedness Index.