Sidebar

The Globalization Index 2007: Small, but Powerful

If there is one big factor that many of the most globalized countries have in common, it’s their size: They’re tiny. Eight of the index’s top 10 countries have land areas smaller than the U.S. state of Indiana; and seven have fewer than 8 million citizens. Canada and the United States are the only large ...

If there is one big factor that many of the most globalized countries have in common, it’s their size: They’re tiny. Eight of the index’s top 10 countries have land areas smaller than the U.S. state of Indiana; and seven have fewer than 8 million citizens. Canada and the United States are the only large countries that consistently rank in the top 10.

So, why do small countries rank so high? Because, when you’re a flyweight, globalizing is a matter of necessity. Countries such as Singapore and the Netherlands lack natural resources. Countries like Denmark and Ireland can’t rely on their limited domestic markets the way the United States can. To be globally competitive, these countries have no choice but to open up and attract trade and foreign investment — even if they’re famously aloof Switzerland.

Indeed, economic integration is where these top-performing, tiny countries flex their muscle. All eight rank in the top 11 on the economic dimension of globalization, which incorporates trade and foreign direct investment. Hong Kong and Singapore, the top two performers in this category, leave other economies in the dust. Additionally, the World Bank placed all the high-ranking, small countries except Jordan in the top 25 out of 175 economies in ease of doing business. Jordan, though, ranks first on the index’s measure of political engagement, due to its participation in treaties and U.N. peacekeeping missions.

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.

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola