General Article Digital globalisation: the new era of global flows

Topic Selected: Globalisation
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Soaring flows of data and information now generate more economic value than the global goods trade.

By James Manyika, Susan Lund, Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Woetzel, Kalin Stamenov and Dhruv Dhingra


Conventional wisdom says that globalisation has stalled. But although the global goods trade has flattened and cross-border capital flows have declined sharply since 2008, globalisation is not heading into reverse. Rather, it is entering a new phase defined by soaring flows of data and information.

Remarkably, digital flows – which were practically non-existent just 15 years ago – now exert a larger impact on GDP growth than the centuries-old trade in goods, according to a new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Digital globalization: The new era of global flows. And although this shift makes it possible for companies to reach international markets with less capital-intensive business models, it poses new risks and poli

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