The fifth annual A.T. Kearney/Foreign Policy Globalization Index has just been published. There's a new winner, an old loser, and a higher spot for the United States in the ranking of 62 countries' political, economic, personal, and technological ties:
The luck of the Irish finally ran out, as last year’s runner-up, Singapore, took the top spot in this year’s ranking, ending Ireland’s three-year streak. One key to Singapore’s rise was its increased political engagement. The island nation built bridges in 2003 - increasing its financial contribution to U.N. peacekeeping missions by 41 percent. ...Singapore solidified its first-place ranking in foreign trade by signing a bilateral free trade agreement with the United States in May 2003, the first such agreement the United States had signed with an Asian nation. Meanwhile, Ireland’s strong economy slumped, with GDP growth sliding from a robust 6.9 percent in 2002 to a tepid 1.8 percent in 2003.