DHL Global Connectedness Index shows signs of progress for Africa and others

By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

The latest reports on African Connectedness are showing great things for the future.

And African countries are showing the largest increases in their global connectedness, according to DHL.

While recent announcements from Cape Town, South Africa reveal:

•          The countries with the largest increases are Mozambique, Togo, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia

•          Global connectedness has yet to recover from its steep drop at the onset of the financial crisis

•          The world’s shifting economic center of gravity is reshaping industry connectedness

DHL recently released the second edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a comprehensive analysis of the state of globalization around the world.

The report, drawing on over one million data points from 2005 to 2011, concludes that the world today is less globally connected than it was in 2007.

Crucially, it documents how global connectedness, measured by international flows of trade, capital, information and people, grew robustly from the report’s baseline year of 2005 to 2007, and then dropped sharply at the onset of the financial crisis. Despite modest gains since 2009, global connectedness has yet to recapture its pre-crisis peak, the study shows.

While the world as a whole experienced only a very modest increase in global connectedness from 2010 to 2011, some individual countries had large gains.

And the countries with the largest increases in their global connectedness scores from 2010 to 2011 are Mozambique, Togo, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia – all of which are located in Sub-Saharan Africa.
While this region remains the world’s least connected, it averaged the largest connectedness increases from 2010 to 2011.

Furthermore, the Netherlands retained its 2010 position as the world’s most connected country.

Of the top ten most connected countries in 2011, nine of them are located in Europe. This is the world’s most connected region.

Charles  Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express in Sub-Saharan Africa says that the GCI also reveals that in 2011, intra-Africa trade continues to lag far behind its European and Asian counterparts. “If we want to improve this inter-connectivity, we need to look at the ease of doing business across borders in the region and work towards regional trade agreements, customs improvements and border efficiencies, to name just a few.”

Brewer adds that from a global perspective, the GCI 2012 indicates that today’s volatile and uncertain business environment bears the lasting impact of the financial crisis. “In this period of slow growth, it’s important to remember the tremendous gains that globalization has brought to the world and recognise it as an engine of economic progress. It is crucial that governments around the globe resist protectionist measures that hinder cross-border interactions.”

DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and “The Logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 275,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting climate protection, disaster management and education.

In addition, the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2012 as well as supplemental background information can be downloaded at Frank Appel and Pankaj Ghemawat will also illustrate why global connectedness matters at Deutsche Post DHL’s blog

Some surprising facts from the GCI 2012:

•          Along most dimensions, the world is less than 20% globalized – often even less than 10%

•         Of the international flows that do take place, 50-60% occur within regions

•          The world’s center of economic gravity shifted thousands of kilometers to the east in the past decade, and continues to do so

•          The most connected country, the Netherlands, is hundreds of times more connected than the least, Burundi

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