UAE – The Most Connected Country in the Middle East & North Africa

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The latest Global Connectedness Index by DHL reveals the UAE as the most connected country in the Middle East & North Africa

The UAE is ranked 12th out of 140 countries – jumping six places since 2013
The world’s economic center of gravity shifts eastward; emerging economies see bigger connectedness gains than advanced economies
Flows of trade, capital, information and people stretched out over more distant geographies, documenting a decline in regionalization

DHL, the global logistics leader, today released the third edition of its Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a detailed analysis of the state of globalization around the world. The latest report has revealed the UAE to be the most connected country in the Middle East & North Africa as it is ranked 12th out of 140 countries worldwide and jumping six places since 2013.

The report documents that global connectedness, measured by cross-border flows of trade, capital, information and people from 140 countries has recovered most of its losses incurred during the financial crisis. Especially the depth of international interactions – the proportion of interactions that cross national borders – gained momentum in 2013 after its recovery had stalled in the previous year. Nonetheless, trade depth, as a distinct dimension of globalization, continues to stagnate and the overall level of global connectedness remains quite limited, implying that there could be gains of trillions of US dollars if boosted in future years.

Commenting on the report, Frank-Uwe Ungerer, Country Manager, DHL Express UAE, said: “The UAE is essentially a gateway to the rest of the world and a trade route that has grown immensely over the years. It is becoming one of the world’s busiest logistics hubs and given its location between East and West we understand the importance of offering the best in class when it comes to logistics solutions and continue to invest in the UAE and across the rest of the GCC as part of our aggressive expansion plans.”

“In the aftermath of the financial crisis, globalization has increasingly come under pressure and international trade negotiations face growing resistance,” said Frank Appel, CEO Deutsche Post DHL. “In this environment of uncertainty, the DHL Global Connectedness Index offers a comprehensive, fact-based understanding of globalization and demonstrates the huge potential for countries to further increase their connectedness. I am convinced that a prosperous world needs more, not less integration.”

The DHL Global Connectedness Index 2014 documents the substantial shift of economic activity to emerging economies that is pushing the world’s economic center of gravity eastward. Emerging countries are now involved in the majority of international interactions whereas before 2010, the majority of international flows were from one advanced economy to another. Notably, the 10 countries where global connectedness increased the most from 2011 to 2013 are all emerging economies, with Burundi, Mozambique and Jamaica experiencing the largest gains.

Advanced economies have not kept up with this shift. This suggests that they may be missing out on growth opportunities in emerging markets. “Counteracting this trend would require more companies in advanced economies to boost their capacity to tap into faraway growth,” said Professor Pankaj Ghemawat, co-author of the report and internationally acclaimed globalization expert and business strategist. “This is particularly evident in light of the fact that a decades-long trend toward trade regionalization has gone into reverse.” In fact, the GCI 2014 reveals that every type of trade, capital, information and people flow measured has expanded over greater distances in 2013 than in 2005, the report’s baseline year.

The 2014 Index Results 

In addition to a comprehensive overview on the state of globalization, the 2014 report also provides detailed insights into the connectedness of individual countries and regions. The Netherlands retained its top rank as the world’s most connected country and Europe is once again the world’s most connected region. All but one of the top 10 most globalized countries in the world are located in Europe, with Singapore as the one standout.

North America is the second most globally connected region and leads on the capital and information pillars, with the United States as the most connected country in the Americas. Overall the US is ranked 23rd place out of the 140 countries measured by the GCI. The largest average increases in global connectedness from 2011 to 2013 were observed in countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Middle East and North Africa was the only region to experience a significant decline in connectedness.

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