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UAE Leads Region in Global Digital Competitiveness

May 31, 2017 | Zawya

Dubai: Reinforcing the country’s continues improvement global competitiveness ranking, the UAE has emerged a regional leader in digital competitiveness.

For the first time this year, the IMD World Competitiveness Centre has published a separate report ranking countries’ digital competitiveness. Indicators for technology and scientific infrastructure are already included in the overall rankings.

The new Digital Competitiveness Ranking, however, introduces several new criteria to measure countries’ ability to adopt and explore digital technologies leading to transformation in government practices, business models and society in general.

The UAE is the only country from the Middle East that is featured in the top 20 rankings at the 18th position globally. From the region Qatar at 28th position and Saudi Arabia at 36th and Jordan at the 56th position are the other countries featured in the overall global ranking of 63 countries.

At the top of the ranking in digital competitiveness is Singapore, followed by Sweden, the USA, Finland and Denmark.

“There is no doubt that supportive and inclusive government institutions help technological innovation,” said Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre.

“Singapore and Sweden have developed regulation that takes advantage of the talent they have by adopting, for instance, regulation that facilitates the inflow of overseas talent which complements the locally available pool. The US invests more in developing its scientific concentration and generating ideas but the country has a history of government support for technological innovation. This shows that in digitally competitive countries, the government must facilitate the adoption of new technologies,” he added.

Some exceptions

Many of the top 10 digitally competitive countries are also found at the top of the overall competitiveness rankings, with some exceptions. Luxembourg, number eight in the overall list, ranks only 20th in the digital list. Finland is 15th in the overall list, but 4th in the digital ranking.

“Of paramount importance in the digital ranking are issues related to how adaptive and agile economies are when faced with technological change,” Bris said. The bottom five are Indonesia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Peru and Venezuela.

“One thing the results highlight is that these countries not only have low rankings in terms of talent but they don’t invest in developing whatever talent they have,” Bris said. “There is a relation between the lack of talent and training with a lack of business agility. Education and knowledge production are the key.”


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