The World Economic Forum has published its Global Information Technology Report 2006–2007 “Network Readiness Index” (PDF), an assessment of 122 countries’ ability to take advantage of information and communication technologies, both in terms of their adoption and deployment but also taking into consideration the nations’ overal business climates, government policies and regulation, and the preparedness and technology stances of key stakeholders.
Last year, the United States reclaimed the top spot in the survey; this year, Denmark claims the number one slot, while the U.S. slips six places, also being beaten out by Sweden, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
“Leveraging ICT [information and communications technologies] is increasingly becoming an essential instrument for countries and national stakeholders to ensure continued prosperity for their people,” said Irene Mia, Senior Economist of the Global Competitiveness Network at the World Economic Forum, and co-editor of the 361-page report. “Nordic countries have shown how an early focus on education, innovation and promotion of ICT penetration and diffusion is a winning strategy for increased networked readiness and competitiveness. Denmark, in particular, has benefited from very effective government e-leadership, reflected in early liberalization of the telecommunications sector, a first-rate regulatory framework and large availability of e-government services.”
What contributed to the United States’ slip in the rankings? Low rate of mobile telephone usage, low quality of math and science education, and lack of government leadership in information technology. Arguing in the U.S.’s favor: a strong market environment which makes it easy to set up businesses, get loans, and access market capital.
Chad, Burundi, Angoloa, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh rounded out the bottom of the 122 nations surveyed in the report.
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