Globalisation is a word which evokes much debate − it can conjure up images of a world unified, or a world divided depending on your perspective. Over the years, there have been many notable identities which have given their perspective on the topic. Author and anti-globalisation activist, Kevin Danaher is on record as stating that: “Globalisation works for about 20 per cent of the world, but doesn’t for the remaining 80 per cent.”
Further still, there are others which recognise its flaws, but bemoan its inevitability. Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan has said: “Globalisation is a fact of life, but I believe we have underestimated its fragility,” and French Economist Alain Minc who has stated that: “Globalisation is for our national economies what gravity is for physics. One cannot be for or against it − one must learn to live with it.” Alternatively there are those which see globalisation as a boon to global functionality citing economic prosperity and cultural enrichment as the key beneficiaries.
Whichever perspective one takes on the issue, it can be assured that the phenomenon is not about to disappear anytime soon. Seemingly, day-by-day the world becomes more globalised as trade flows continue to seek out new markets and new opportunities. But in all reality just how globalised are the world’s markets? In other words, how connected are countries to each other? It might be surprising to many that country connectivity is perhaps not as advanced as first thought. That is, that globalisation too is not as developed, and that as a result there could be new opportunities for countries, and thus businesses, if they can identify the correct trade channels.
These are the findings released in the Global Connectedness Index (GCI) 2011 report commissioned by global logistics firm DHL, in which it is revealed that continued economic integration could be capable of spurring global gross domestic product gains of between five per cent or more. The study also documents that global connectedness has enormous room to expand, even amongst the most “connected” countries.
“Our research shows that global economic integration is not as deep as originally perceived,” says world renowned global business strategist and economist Pankaj Ghemawat, professor of global strategy at IESE Business School, Barcelona. “Therefore we see potential for growth for each country and globally. Increasing global connectedness is likely to spur further growth by adding trillions of dollars to global gross domestic product,” adds Ghemawat, the report’s author.