Measuring the flows of trade, capital, information and people

DHL has released the fifth edition of its Global Connectedness Index (DCI), and the Netherlands tops its list of the world’s most connected countries. Europe comes first in the ranking of regions. The DCI is a detailed analysis of globalisation that measures international flows of trade, capital, information and people across 169 countries and territories. 

International connections

The current state of globalisation and individual rankings for each country are based on the depth (the intensity of international flows) and the breadth (the geographical distribution) of the countries’ international connections. The world’s top five most globally connected countries are the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates. The Netherlands comes first for trade, second for information, third for capital and eighth for people flows.

Global champion

The country has been leading the list for more than ten years – with good reason – yet it continues to outdo expectations. The Netherlands, states the report, is “well-situated to be a global leader: it is located in the most connected region, Europe; it has a moderate-sized population; it has a high GDP per capita; and it has excellent access to the sea. Nevertheless, the Netherlands has higher than predicted levels of both depth and breadth.” 

Europe is connected

Of the top 10 most connected countries, eight are located in Europe. It’s the world’s most connected region overall, leading in flows of trade and people. North America ranked second among world regions (and first for capital and information flows), followed by the Middle East and North Africa in third place. 

Economic growth and international connectedness fuel each other

According to DHL, the report presents the first comprehensive assessment of how flows of trade, capital, information and people have developed since the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. It is optimistic about the outcome, stating that “contrary to predictions that globalisation would collapse in response to a wave of economic nationalism, the DHL Global Connectedness Index rose to a record high in 2017. For the first time since 2007, trade, capital, information, and people flows all intensified significantly. Strong economic growth boosted international flows.” This, in turn, accelerates economic growth: another takeaway from the report is that “countries that integrate more deeply into international flows tend to enjoy faster economic growth.” 

Connectivity in Amsterdam and the Netherlands

The report emphasises the high level of connectivity that the Netherlands, and especially Amsterdam, prides itself on. An international outlook in terms of business, people and culture are bolstered by a central and easily accessible location and great logistical and digital connections, which make doing business easy. 

Read more business news from Amsterdam and the surrounding region, or learn about the city’s logistics industry.