KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 3): Malaysia is now ranked the 16th most connected country, according to the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020.
The country is also the second most connected in the East Asia Pacific, behind Singapore which remained as the second most connected nation in the world.
“Besides ranking countries on their actual level of globalisation, we compare actual levels to predictions. based on the country's size, economic development and location.
“And Malaysia is one of our top five outperformers relative to expectations on the index,” said Professor Steven Altman, the lead author of the latest edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index, in a virtual press conference today.
Altman is also a senior research scholar at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Looking forward, Altman noted that there are some interesting opportunities on the horizon for Malaysia such as the growth of supply chains in Southeast Asia that continues to be quite strong, continued Asean integration efforts as well as opportunities that are forwarded in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Overall, citing the report, Altman said the DHL Global Connectedness Index is set to decline in 2020, but it is unlikely to fall below where it stood during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, based on the analysis of preliminary data and forecasts.
According to the report, Malaysia has long been ahead of its peers in terms of the depth of its global connectedness.
“Like the other top countries, it exceeded expectations on both depth and breadth scores,” the report read, adding that Malaysia has the distinction of being the most populous country with a depth score in the top 25.
“Its top pillar rank was fourth on the trade pillar in 2019, through a combination of relatively high ranks on both depth and breadth,” the report said, noting that Southeast Asia is a region where countries tend to have unusually high trade depth.
“Southeast Asian countries benefit from linkages with wider Asian supply chain networks as well as ASEAN policy initiatives promoting regional economic integration,” it said.
Meanwhile, DHL Express CEO John Pearson described his company’s performance in Malaysia as “extraordinary strong”, saying the country was as one of DHL Express’ fastest growing countries.
“Malaysia is certainly in the 20%-30% growth and has been for many months, and that is helped by one new product which is called ‘Durian Express’, which exports the king of fruits abroad,” he said.
Pearson said this "niche product", on top of the e-commerce business, drives Malaysia's growth, adding that the outlook in Malaysia is positive.