The UAE is the most connected country in the Arab world and is in the top 25 globally, according to the DHL 2012 Global Connectedness Index, published yesterday.
That puts it only three places behind the United States in the flow of trade, capital, information and people.
However, the index also shows that the world today is less globally connected than it was in 2007.
The courier company’s index measures and analyses the global connectedness of 140 countries, covering 99 per cent of the world’s GDP and 95 per cent of its population. Drawing on more than one million data points between 2005 and 2011, it shows how global connectedness grew robustly from the report’s baseline year to 2007, before dropping sharply at the onset of the financial crisis.
“Despite modest gains since 2009, global connectedness has yet to recapture its pre-crisis peak. The [index] indicates that today’s volatile and uncertain business environment bears the lasting impact of the financial crisis,” said Frank Appel, the chief executive of Deutsche Post DHL.
“Especially in this period of slow growth, it’s important to remember the tremendous gains that globalisation has brought to the world’s citizens and to recognise it as an engine of economic progress. Above all, governments must resist protectionist measures that hinder cross-border interactions.” The index reveals the UAE is 23rd worldwide for connectivity, and that the Middle East, North Africa region is the fourth-most connected globally.
The Netherlands retained its 2010 position as the world’s most connected country. Of the top 10, nine are in Europe, the world’s most connected region.
The least connected country is Burundi in sub-Saharan Africa. However, other sub-Saharan countries – Mozambique, Togo, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia – were among those with the largest increases in their global connectedness scores from 2010 to 2011. While this region remains the world’s least connected, it averaged the largest connectedness increases from 2010 to 2011.
The index says: “In light of research indicating that deepening global connectedness can be a powerful lever for increasing prosperity, this report’s findings of limited and faltering global connectedness imply that strengthening countries’ connectedness offers large untapped potential to help accelerate economic recovery.”
The index also notes a “broad shift of economic activity toward emerging markets that has accelerated since the onset of the financial crisis: 72 per cent of GDP growth around the world from 2008 to 2011 took place in emerging market countries.”