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AMSTERDAM: February 12, 2019. According to the fifth edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI), the world’s top five most globally connected countries in 2017 were the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium and the UAE. Making up the rest of the top 10 was Ireland, Luxembourg, Denmark, the UK and Germany.

Top 10 most connected countriesThe US ranked in 30th place overall – below Bulgaria and above Iceland. Russia was in 54th position and China 61st. The index measures the current state of globalization, as well as individual rankings for each country, based on the intensity of international flows and the geographical distribution of flows of countries’ international connections.

The new GCI report represents the first comprehensive assessment of developments in globalization across 169 countries and territories since Britain's Brexit and Donald Trump’s election as US president in 2016.

In spite of growing anti-globalization tensions in many countries, connectedness reached an all-time high in 2017, as the flows of trade, capital, information and people across national borders all intensified significantly for the first time since 2007. Strong economic growth boosted international flows while key policy changes such as US tariff increases had not yet been implemented.

“Even as the world continues to globalize, there is still tremendous untapped potential around the world,” explained DHL Express CEO John Pearson. “The GCI shows that currently, most of the movements and exchanges we’re seeing are domestic rather than international, yet we know that globalization is a decisive factor in growth and prosperity.”

The latest GCI shows that about 20 percent of global economic output is exported; some 7.0 percent of phone call minutes (including via the Internet) are international; and only 3.0 percent of people live outside the countries where they were born. The report also disproves the idea that distance is becoming irrelevant: most countries are more connected to their next-door neighbours.

“Surprisingly, even after globalisation’s recent gains, the world is still less connected than most people think it is,” noted GCI co-author Steven Altman, senior Research Scholar at the NYU Stern School of Business and executive director of NYU Stern’s Center for the Globalization of Education and Management. “This is important because, when people overestimate international flows, they tend to worry more about them. The facts in our report can help calm such fears and focus attention on real solutions to societal concerns about globalization.”

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