These countries occupy the highest position in digital competitiveness

  • The new report analyzes and classifies 140 countries according to their digital competitiveness in the last three years.
  • The countries leading the Digital Riser list are implementing bold public-private partnerships to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • The results show that advances in digital transformation do not always come from the most obvious places.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that digital technologies determine not only whether countries thrive or not, but also how they are able to navigate in time of trial. Effectively applied, digital technologies not only enable education and work to move from schools and offices to the home, but also provide increasingly efficient ways to organize processes in businesses and governments.

New technologies such as 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, sensors, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and robotics also have the potential to disrupt almost any industry. The competitiveness of nations in these technologies will determine the prosperity of their countries in the coming decades.

In this context, we analyzed how the digital competitiveness of countries developed in the last three years. In the new edition of the Digital Riser Report from the European Digital Competitiveness Center of ESCP Europe Business School, we have analyzed the digital competitiveness of 140 countries and provided a global ranking that compares them to their regions. We show which countries have lost ground and which countries have done well and improved their position in relation to their peers. We also highlight what can be learned from the best and analyze the policy measures that made the “Digital Risers” successful.

Within the G7, Canada was able to advance in its relative digital competitiveness between 2018 and 2020, making the country the best digital elevator in this group; by contrast, Japan and Germany declined further within the G7. Italy was able to improve its position in the G7 from last year to second place in 2021.

Within the G20, the ranking also reveals strong dynamics with respect to the two global digital superpowers: China gained significantly in digital competitiveness, while the United States lost the same period of time, mainly driven by the ecosystemic dimension of our ranking. The top three digital laughers at the G20 have been China, followed by Saudi Arabia and Brazil; India, Japan and Germany came in last.

The report analyzes and classifies the changes that countries around the world have seen in their digital competitiveness over the past three years. It measures the two fundamental dimensions of digital competitiveness, the country’s ecosystem and its mentality based on data from the World Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum, as well as supporting data provided by the World Bank and the International Telecommunication Union.

The report analyzes the progress of 140 countries along the mindset and dimensions of the ecosystem, as well as the absolute cumulative change in the ranks between 2018 and 2020. The countries were analyzed and compared in relation to their peers in terms of regions (i.e., Europe and North America) or group members (i.e., G20), to ensure comparability of results relative to a comparative baseline.

The World Economic Forum was the first to draw the world’s attention to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the current period of unprecedented change driven by rapid technological advances. Policies, rules and regulations have not been able to keep pace with innovation, creating a growing need to fill this gap.

The Forum established the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network in 2017 to ensure that new and emerging technologies help humanity and do no harm in the future. Based in San Francisco, the network launched centers in China, India and Japan in 2018 and is quickly establishing locally managed affiliate centers in many countries around the world.

The global network works closely with partners in governments, businesses, universities and civil society to co-design and pilot agile frameworks to govern new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, blockchain, data policy, digital commerce, drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), precision medicine and environmental innovations.

Learn more about the innovative work the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network is doing to prepare us for the future.

Do you want to help us shape the fourth industrial revolution? Contact us to find out how you can become a partner.

There are two important differences between World Competitiveness Report and the Digital Riser Report. First, while the World Competitiveness Report analyzes the global competitiveness of countries, the Digital Riser Report it analyzes its digital competitiveness only as indicated by its digital ecosystem and its mentality. Second, while the World Competitiveness Report analyzes the changes within a year, the Digital Riser Report shows how countries have fared over the past three years.

As in last year’s report, we analyzed two factors: the progress that countries have made in relation to their global counterparts in the last three years and the best practices of the best digital users in their respective region or group. . We highlight, therefore, the developments and initiatives that can inform policy makers around the world about what practices need to be implemented, based on what has been successfully demonstrated in their region and beyond. Here is a summary of best practices shared by Digital Risers:

1) Follow complete plans with ambitious goals

China, for example, has implemented a global drive for entrepreneurship and innovation. With its China 2025 initiative, it provides state support to 10 key sectors in which it aims to become a world leader. Other nations have also formulated ambitious visions for their digital future: Vietnam wants its digital economy to account for 30% of GDP by 2030, and Hungary has set its goal of becoming one of the top ten digital technology countries in Europe. at the end of the decade. But successful Digital Risers are also launching concrete initiatives to support these goals. For example, Italy has launched “Repubblica Digitale”, a new program to bridge the digital divide, promote digital inclusion and strengthen the development of digital skills among citizens.

2) Focus on entrepreneurship

Brazil, for example, has initiated several public and public-private efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship in the country, such as the “InovAtiva Brasil” program, “StartOut Brasil” and the National Committee of Start-Up Support Initiatives. In Egypt, the government has supported the development of six technology parks to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. The Canadian government has also invested more than $ 1.2 billion in so-called “innovation superclusters” to accelerate business-driven innovation, with the potential to boost the economy.

However, our report also shows a growing divide in the speed of digital transformation. In Europe, a two-speed transformation continues. As in last year’s report, France advanced significantly in its digital competitiveness, while Germany lost substantially over the same period of time. But digital progress is possible worldwide when the right measures are implemented. While Digital Risers like Canada and Georgia may not come directly to mind when it comes to digital, these countries show that accelerating the speed of digital transformation can be achieved in businesses and governments.

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