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The Netherlands is #1 Again in DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020

Holland continues to be the world’s most globally connected economy

DHL connectedness

The Netherlands is the world’s most globally connected country – again! The country has ranked first in the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 (GCI). The newly released report, now in its seventh edition, is the first comprehensive assessment of globalization during the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. It tracks international flows of trade, capital, information and people across 169 countries and territories.

The most recent data show that the Netherlands is again at the top of the ranking for its globalized economy, supported by exceptional infrastructure and digital connectivity. Singapore, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Ireland complete the top 5. Europe claims the top spot as the world’s most globalized region, with 8 of the 10 most globally connected countries located there. It leads on trade and people flows, while North America is the top region for information and capital flows.

World became more digitalized due to coronavirus

After holding steady in 2019, current forecasts imply that the index will fall significantly in 2020 due to the distancing effects of COVID-19 on societies, such as closed borders, travel bans and grounded passenger airlines. Nonetheless the pandemic is unlikely to send the world’s overall level of connectedness below where it stood during the 2008 – 09 global financial crisis. Trade and capital flows have already started to recover and international data flows surged during the spreading pandemic as in-person contact went into the online world, boosting international internet traffic, phone calls and e-commerce.

“The current crisis has shown how indispensable international connections are for maintaining the global economy, securing people’s livelihoods and helping companies strengthen their trading levels,” says John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express.

“Connected supply chains and logistics networks play an essential role in keeping the world running and stabilizing globalization especially at a time of a crisis that spans our globe. This reminds us of the need to stay prepared for any challenge. The recent vaccine breakthrough has put a spotlight on the systemic importance of fast and secure medical logistics dependent on a worldwide interconnected network that effectively ensures international distribution.”

Stronger global connectedness can accelerate recovery from pandemic

While COVID-19 has disrupted business and life around the world, it has not severed the fundamental links that connect nations. “This report shows that globalization did not collapse in 2020, but that the pandemic did transform – at least temporar­ily – how countries connect. It also demonstrates both the dangers of a world where critical linkages break down and the urgent need for more effective cooperation in the face of global challenges,” comments GCI lead author Steven A. Altman, Senior Research Scholar and Director of the DHL Initiative on Globalization at the NYU Stern School of Business.

“Stronger global connectedness could accelerate the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as countries that connect more to international flows tend to enjoy faster economic growth,” Altman said.

Source: DHL Press Release

9 December 2020

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