These countries rank first for digital competitiveness
- A new report analyzes and ranks 140 countries according to their digital competitiveness over the past three years.
- The countries at the top of the “Digital Riser” list are implementing bold public-private partnerships to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
- The results show that advances in digital transformation don’t always come from the most obvious places.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that digital technologies not only determine whether countries prosper or not, but also how well they are able to weather difficult times. Applied effectively, digital technologies not only allow education and work to move from schools and offices to home, but they also offer increasingly efficient ways of organizing 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 how prosperous their countries will be in the decades to come.
In this context, we analyzed how the digital competitiveness of countries has developed over the past three years. In the new edition of Digital riser report From ESCP Europe Business School’s European Center for Digital Competitiveness, we analyzed the digital competitiveness of 140 countries and provided a global ranking that compares them within their regions. We show which countries have lost ground as well as which countries have done well and improved their position relative to their peers. We also highlight what can be learned from the best and analyze the political measures that have made the success of the “Digital Risers”.
Within the G7, Canada has been able to advance the most in its relative digital competitiveness between 2018 and 2020, making the country our first digital riser in this group; conversely, Japan and Germany fell the most within the G7. Italy was able to improve its position in the G7 from last place the year before to second place in 2021.
Within the G20, the ranking reveals a strong dynamic also concerning the two global digital superpowers: China has considerably gained in digital competitiveness, while the United States has lost over the same period, mainly driven by the ecosystem dimension of our ranking. . The first three Digital Risers of the G20 were China, followed by Saudi Arabia and Brazil; India, Japan and Germany came last.
The report analyzes and ranks the changes 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 state of mind based on data from the Global Competitiveness Report published 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 according to mindset and ecosystem dimensions as well as the absolute and cumulative change in rankings between 2018 and 2020. Countries were analyzed and compared against their peers in terms of regions (i.e. Europe and North America) or groups. members (i.e. G20), to ensure comparability of results against a benchmark.
The World Economic Forum was the first to bring the world’s attention to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the current period of unprecedented change driven by rapid technological advances. Policies, standards and regulations have failed 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 will help humanity in the future, without harming it. 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 from government, business, academia 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, Internet of Things (IoT), precision medicine and environmental innovations.
Learn more about the groundbreaking work the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network is doing to prepare us for the future.
Want to help us shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Contact us to find out how to become a member or partner.
There are two major differences between Global Competitiveness Report and the Digital riser report. First, while the Global Competitiveness Report analyzes the overall competitiveness of countries, Digital riser report analyzes their digital competitiveness only as indicated by their digital ecosystem and mindset. Second, while the Global Competitiveness Report analyzes changes over a period of one year, the Digital riser report shows how countries have performed over the past three years.
As in last year’s report, we analyzed two factors: the progress countries have made against their global peers over the past three years and the best practices of the best Digital Risers in their respective region or group. We thus highlight the evolutions and initiatives likely to enlighten political decision-makers around the world on the practices to be implemented, according to what has been proven in their region and beyond. Here is a summary of the best practices shared by Digital Risers:
1) They follow comprehensive plans with ambitious goals
China, for example, has implemented a comprehensive campaign for entrepreneurship and innovation. With its China 2025 initiative, it is providing 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 represent 30% of GDP by 2030, and Hungary has set its goal of becoming one of the 10 leading countries in digital technologies in Europe by the end of the decade. But successful Digital Risers are also launching concrete initiatives to support these goals. Italy, for example, has launched “Repubblica Digitale”, a new program aimed at bridging the digital divide, promoting digital inclusion and strengthening the development of digital skills among citizens.
2) They focus on entrepreneurship
Brazil, for example, has launched various public and public-private efforts to boost entrepreneurship in the country, such as the “InovAtiva Brasil” program, “StartOut Brasil” and the National Committee for Start-up Support Initiatives. In Egypt, the government has supported the development of six technology parks to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, the Canadian government has 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 has made significant progress in its digital competitiveness while Germany has lost considerably over the same period. But digital progress is possible anywhere in the world when the right measures are implemented. While digital Risers such as Canada and Georgia do not come directly to mind when it comes to digital, these countries demonstrate that accelerating the speed of digital transformation can be achieved in businesses and governments.