DHL Global Connectedness Index: United Arab Emirates becomes world’s fifth most connected country as globalization hits record high

  • The UAE rose five places on the Index to rank
    fifth in the world after The Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and Belgium
  • The Middle East and North Africa is world's
    third most globally-connected region after Europe and North America


DUBAI, UAE - Media OutReach - February
14, 2019 -
 DHL has released
the fifth edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI) -- a detailed
analysis of globalization, measured by international flows of trade, capital,
information and people.


The latest edition of the GCI saw the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) surge to fifth place in the world for global connectedness. The
country's rank stood at 18th in 2004. It entered the top 10 in 2012 (ranking 9th),
and continued rising all the way to its present 5th position, a record rank for
the country and the highest rank achieved yet by a country from the Middle East
and North Africa region. The UAE has proactively supported connectedness by,
for example, fostering vibrant activity in free trade zones such as the Abu
Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ) that focus on non-oil products as part of the
government's economic diversification strategy. Israel, Bahrain, Mauritius,
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and Lebanon all made it into the Index's Top 50,
while Sub-Saharan African countries like Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea on
the West African coastline showed remarkable improvements in connectivity.


The 2018 index measures the current state of
globalization, as well as individual rankings for each country, based on the
depth (intensity of international flows) and breadth (geographical distribution
of flows) of countries' international connections. The world's top five most
globally connected countries in 2017 were the Netherlands, Singapore,
Switzerland, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates. Middle East and North Africa
is the world's third-most connected region, behind Europe and North America.


"While oil exports continue to underpin the Emirates'
connectedness to the global economy, the establishment of free trade zones like
the ADAFZ has attracted businesses worldwide, serving as a strategic hub and
gateway to Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region,[1]"
said Nour Suliman, CEO Middle East and North Africa, DHL Express. "Increased
trade from companies based in these zones have directly contributed to the rise
in the UAE's non-oil foreign trade in sectors like aviation, pharmaceuticals,
technology and e-commerce, accounting for 62% of total trade.[2]
Over the past few years, deals with key partners like Saudi Arabia have reached
US$10 billion,[3]
while UAE-India trade partnerships are expected to cross US$100 billion by


"The region continues to face geopolitical
headwinds as well as issues around quality and reliability of infrastructure, but
things are changing thanks to new policies and investments from government and
industry alike. DHL Express recently opened a US$5.8 million logistics facility
in Jordan as part of the company's commitment to invest US$170 million in
infrastructure developments across Middle East and Africa[5]
as we continue to drive greater regional and global connectedness with
innovative, high-quality end-to-end logistics services."


The new GCI report represents the first
comprehensive assessment of developments in globalization across 169 countries
and territories since the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the 2016
presidential election in the United States. In spite of growing
anti-globalization tensions in many countries, connectedness reached an
all-time high in 2017, as the flows of trade, capital, information and people
across national borders all intensified significantly for the first time since
2007. Strong economic growth boosted international flows while key policy
changes such as US tariff increases had not yet been implemented.


A central theme of research by GCI co-authors
Steven A. Altman and Pankaj Ghemawat is that at the global level, the world is
still less connected than most people think it is, even after globalization's
recent gains. For example, just about 20% of economic output around the world
is exported, roughly 7% of phone call minutes (including calls over the
internet) are international, and only 3% of people live outside the countries
where they were born. The report also debunks the belief that distance is
becoming irrelevant. Most countries are much more connected to their neighbors
than to distant nations.


economies remain less connected than advanced economies


The GCI continues to reveal vast differences
between levels of globalization in advanced versus emerging economies. Emerging
economies trade almost as intensively as advanced economies, but advanced
economies are more than three times as deeply integrated into international
capital flows, five times for people flows, and almost nine times with respect
to information flows. Additionally, while leaders from large emerging markets
have become major supporters of globalization on the world stage, emerging
economies' progress in terms of global connectedness has stalled.


Note to

The report was commissioned by DHL and authored
by Steven A. Altman, Pankaj Ghemawat, and Phillip Bastian of the New York
University Stern School of Business and the IESE Business School. The 2018 DHL
Global Connectedness Index draws on more than 3 million data points from
international flows covering trade, capital, information and people. It
documents and dissects levels of globalization, both at the global level and
for 169 countries and territories that jointly account for 99% of the world's
GDP and 97% of its population.


The report and additional background information
can be downloaded at


DHL -- The logistics company for the world


DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL family
of divisions offers an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from
national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment
solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial
supply chain management. With about 360,000 employees in more than 220
countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely
and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized solutions for
growth markets and industries, including technology, life sciences and
healthcare, energy, automotive and retail, a proven commitment to corporate
responsibility and an unrivalled presence in developing markets, DHL is
decisively positioned as "The logistics company for the world."


DHL is
part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 60
billion euros in 2017.






To Top