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UK, US slip down World Digital Competitiveness Ranking

Denmark takes top spot, Croatia improves fastest, Hong Kong flops

Denmark has topped the International Institute for Management Development's seventh annual World Digital Competitiveness Ranking – an assessment of 63 nations' "capacity and readiness to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society."

The Institute (IMD) with its World Competitiveness Center claim to be an independent academic institution that aims to develop leaders. The Digital Competitiveness Ranking assesses three main factors, listed below:

  • Knowledge – Know-how necessary to discover, understand and build new technologies;
  • Technology – Overall context that enables the development of digital technologies;
  • Future Readiness – Level of country preparedness to exploit digital transformation.

The IMD also considers additional nine sub-factors that mark nations against 54 criteria.

Up until this year, the USA is the only nation to have topped the Rankings. Denmark finally toppled the champ thanks to an exceptional rating on the Future Readiness factor.

The Ranking mentions plenty of problems in the USA, which ranked ninth in the world on the Technology factor but slipped from third to tenth in IT integration capacity. Fears that business is not handling cybersecurity well contributed to the nation's decline.

Among major Reg-reading nations, the UK dropped two places to 14th despite its Technology and Future Readiness scores improving. Other nations improved more markedly, with Israel jumping two places to thirteenth. Twelfth-placed Australia surged six spots up the chart.

India talks a good game about its many digital government services and IT services industry – but was ranked 44th.

Canada jumped three spots to 10th, while Germany dipped to 18th after placing 16th in the last Ranking.

Taiwan's 11th place handily beat China's 17th ranking, though both nations went backwards over the last year.

European nations – Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands and Finland – occupied five of the top ten positions. Three Asian nations – Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong – made the top ten.

Hong Kong, however, fell seven places to ninth. The sudden shutdown of democracy can do that to a country.

Croatia made the biggest jump, with a 12-slot surge taking it to 43rd place.

Japan's efforts to end its reliance on floppy disks and faxes appear not yet to have seen its digital capacity increase – the nation dropped one place to 29th. Italy is the worst-ranked of the G7 group of very rich and well-developed nations, at 39th place.

Argentina, Colombia, Botswana, Mongolia and Venezuela took the final five slots in the rankings.

The full rankings can be found here. ®

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