DHL Global Connectedness Index: Hong Kong ranks 18th in the world for trade connectivity as globalization hits new record high

DHL Express Hong Kong
2019-03-11 16:08 949
  • International flows of trade, capital, information and people all intensified significantly for the first time since 2007
  • Hong Kong ranks 1st globally in merchandise trade relative to GDP, with cross-border flows beating expectations by a wide margin

HONG KONG, March 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- DHL 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 Hong Kong with an overall rank of 18th in the world for trade connectivity, and 2nd out of 169 countries on the depth dimension of the Index, which reflects the significant amount of the city's international flow compared to the size of its domestic economy.

The high depth score of Hong Kong is positively associated with the city's GDP per capita, especially in the trade pillar, consisting of merchandise and service trade. Hong Kong ranked 1st globally in merchandise trade (merchandise exports and imports relative to GDP), and retained its position as the 7th most connected market for the overall trade pillar.

Hong Kong's structural characteristics, such as its small size, direct access to the sea and common languages with other major economies, are key factors that helped the city attain one of the top depth scores globally.

"Hong Kong has continued to rank well in our GCI reports as a global connected economy because of its well-established reputation as a hub for finance, commerce and trade as well as its strong intermediary role between mainland China and the world," said Herbert Vongpusanachai, Senior Vice-President, Managing Director, Hong Kong and Macau, DHL Express.

"Hong Kong has favorable policies that target international flows in place and has continued to bolster domestic infrastructure such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and an upcoming third runway at the Hong Kong International Airport," Mr. Vongpusanachai added. "Since we began our operations here in 1972, our strong commitment to Hong Kong is manifested in the strength of our products and unparalleled customer service levels. We will continue to leverage the city's global connectedness to boost our operations and meet our customers' needs."

The new GCI report represents the first comprehensive assessment of developments in globalization across 169 countries and territories. Despite 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. The 2018 index measures the current state of globalization, as well as individual rankings for each country or market, based on the depth (intensity of international flows) and breadth (geographical distribution of flows) of countries' international connections.

Key findings of the GCI report include:

  • The world's top five most globally connected countries in 2017 were the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Eight of the top 10 most connected countries are located in Europe, helping make it the world's most connected region, in particular for trade and people flows.
  • At the global level, the GCI shows that even after globalization's recent gains, the world is still less connected than most people think it is, and such misperceptions exacerbate fears of globalization. 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.
  • Emerging economies have much lower average levels of connectedness than advanced economies. The largest gap is found in information flows, into which advanced economies are nine times as deeply integrated.
  • Economies where international flows exceed expectations the most are Cambodia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Singapore, and Vietnam. Regional supply chains boost the performance of these nations.
  • Global connectedness is still constrained by distance and cross-country/ market differences. Roughly half of all international flows are between countries and their top three origins and destinations.
  • Countries or markets that integrate more deeply into international flows tend to enjoy faster economic growth, and even the top-ranked countries have untapped opportunities to strengthen their global connectedness.

Note to editors:

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

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Source: DHL Express Hong Kong