ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore loses out to Netherlands as world's most connected country: report

But the Lion City is expected to benefit from initiatives aiming to improve logistics and harmonise regulations.

Singapore held its second position after the Netherlands for trade connectivity on the back of its policies that leverage on global connectedness, according to DHL’s latest Global Connectedness Index (GCI).

The GCI report, which assessed the globalisation developments across 169 countries and territories since the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the 2016 presidential election in the United States, found that Singapore was also one of the five countries where international flows exceeded expectations. The other countries included Cambodia, Malaysia, Mozambique and Vietnam. 

“As one of the world’s most open and connected economies, Singapore is expected to benefit from the continued implementation of initiatives set forth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’s (ASEAN) Master Plan on Connectivity 2025, which aims to improve logistics, harmonise regulations, reduce non-tariff barriers and improve mobility of people,” Christopher Ong, managing director for DHL Express Singapore, said in a statement. “This includes the ASEAN Single Window, which will expedite cargo clearance and promote ASEAN economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of trade-related documents amongst ASEAN member States.”

Also read: Smart city initiatives cement Singapore as elite global city

He further added that global trade pacts including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is expected to be concluded in 2019 may help increase ASEAN’s trade connectedness and economic integration moving forward.

Amidst growing antiglobalisation 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, DHL noted. Strong economic growth boosted international flows while key policy changes such as US tariff increases had not yet been implemented.

Rounding off the top 10 most connected countries were Switzerland, Belgium, the UAE, Ireland, Luxembourg, Denmark. UK and Germany. 

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