In his influential book entitled Guns, Germs and Steel, Diamond (1999) explains the various important aspects of the consequences of the interaction between ‘geography’ and ‘economics’ by covering an extensive period of 13,000 years. From a historical perspective, Diamond explained how human societies interacted with their physical environment and with other societies and how the innovation and economic accumulation process evolved. In essence, our past determines our future. The history of beer also spans over 8000 years. As a simple product made with mostly water, what is the significance of the global trading network and how and why did it evolve? Why do certain countries remain in their leading position over the years? As a traditional network, what kind of connections does the trading network with other emerging network such the investment network in the food sector? Does countries with more trade in beer tends to have more investment ties in the food and beverages sector? The above questions and hypotheses are investigated with dynamic network modeling techniques. One of the statistically significant hyphothesis is that there is significant positive influence of the presence of beer trade tie on the formation of investment tie in the Food and Beverages sector. Moreover, presence of trade tie in beer will also significantly increase the probability of a reciprocal investment tie. This result points to that when everything is connected to everything, we can discover connections in unexpected places. When the general indexes provided by world organizations fail to explain certain specific phenomenon in a rapidly changing world, it is maybe more worthwhile to study the real flow and connections by people, goods and knowledge with the help of the advent in computer technology and large amount of available recent data. Connectivity is important for a country’s economic development. These connectivity can be trade and commodity ties, investment ties, but also in tourism, social media and culture. Establishment of investment ties with partners with advanced knowhow in logistics management, water management can bring valuable knowhow and developmental benefits to the emerging countries and to build more sustainable and robust supply chains. The importance of tourism points that there are important enabling factors that attracts international people flow such as: good environment, good urban facilities and infrastructure. Such factors are beyond the scope of this research but the important conclusion may be that the ‘soft’ factors are equally important to a city or country’s competitiveness.

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Wall, R., Stavropoulos, S.
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Tsui, T.S.W. (2014, September). A Beer Index for International Food Security?. Retrieved from