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Nordic countries top at exploiting IT

Published on 10/04/2008

10 April 2008

GENEVA – Nordic countries lead the way in harnessing information and communication technology, ICT, for business development and competitiveness, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Denmark tops the survey carried out by the Geneva-based economic think tank, the World Economic Forum (WEF), for the second year in a row followed by Sweden.

Switzerland, the United States and Singapore are ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively in the seventh Global Information Technology Report 2007-2008 which assesses the impact and effective use of IT on a nation’s economy.

Finland, The Netherlands, Iceland, South Korea and Norway complete the top ten in order, with South Korea having made the most progress, up ten places on the previous year from 19 to nine.

WEF senior economist, Irene Mia, said a coherent government vision on ICT coupled with a focus on education and innovation was essential "not only for spurring networked readiness but also laying the foundations for sustainable growth."

The report said Denmark had one of the best regulatory frameworks for doing business and for ICT. Other Nordic countries, among the most networked in the world, also had a strong focus on education.

South Korea had realised "one of the most impressive improvements" among the 127 economies covered in the study thanks to a well-educated and skilled workforce combined with a dynamic business sector.

The 12 EU accession countries such as Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Hungary had made "remarkable progress".

Taiwan, Japan and India had all slipped back slightly while China was up five places at 57. India and China both suffered from an underdeveloped ICT infrastructure, said the report.

In Latin America, Chile was in the lead in networked readiness driven by government goals on ICT penetration.

African Sub-Saharan countries, notably Cameroon, occupy the bottom rankings.

[dpa / Expatica]