Sunday, October 28, 2007

Small is Beautiful Among Globalization's Top Dogs

For the last 7 years Foreign Policy magazine, in partnership with A.T. Kearney, has published the Globalization Index rankings. The wonderful part about these rankings is that they reflect quantitative figures on trade and FDI, but also some less easily measured "globalization variables" like technological connectivity, political engagement and remittances. Any attempt to measure this complex process should include a qualitative component. Globalization is about removing barriers to the movement of goods, services and people across borders. The first two are easy to measure. It's the people part that often gets lost in the mix.

The top ten most globalized countries this year (drawn from 2005 data - the latest available):
  1. Singapore
  2. Hong Kong
  3. the Netherlands
  4. Switzerland
  5. Ireland
  6. Denmark
  7. United States
  8. Canada
  9. Jordan
  10. Estonia

As the accompanying story points out, the countries on this list are notable for their size (or lack of it). These are very small countries.

"And if you’re living in a small country, reaching out beyond your country’s borders may be the only way to find new opportunities. Not surprisingly, six of this year’s tiny globalizers also ranked in the top 10 on the personal dimension of globalization, which measures international phone calls, travel, and remittances. People in small countries boosted their countries’ rankings by chatting it up on the phone, or in the case of Jordan, by sending large sums of money home. It all goes to show that mini can be mighty."

And that globalization isn't just about reciprocal concessions, non-tariff barriers and structural adjustment. It's also about people.

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