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World | Oct 1, 2022

Denmark ousts USA to top World Digital Competitiveness ranking

/ Our Today

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National flag of Demark. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Denmark take the lead for the first time in the World Digital Competitiveness ranking since the index began six years ago.

The Scandinavian country ousted the USA in the rankings, released earlier this week, with Washington having to settle for second place for the first time since 2017.

A total of 63 global economies were studied in terms of their ability to adopt and explore new digital technologies. Denmark’s triumph is in large part due to its outstanding performance in future readiness: defined by the World Competitiveness Center (WCC), as “the level of country preparedness to exploit digital transformation”.

Denmark’s performance

The country performed strongly in business agility (1/63) and in IT integration (1/63), also reaching fifth in its adaptive attitudes. Denmark remains among the world’s leading economies in digital talent and training and education.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Sweden remains in third place, and Singapore gains one position, taking fourth. Switzerland moves up to fifth (from sixth). Switzerland is on its way to becoming a fully developed digital nation with satisfactory digital infrastructure and regulation, data governance and digital attitudes.

A key success factor for the future though will be the introduction of a digital identity program in the country. The top nations in the ranking, such as Denmark and Singapore, are already marking the way.

The United States (second) sees drops across the board, with the largest being in the technology factor. Despite the fact it maintained a relatively strong position, there is much room for improvement in terms of the know-how needed to discover, understand and build new technologies (the “knowledge” factor), the ranking found.

Russia and Ukraine not included

Due to the limited reliability of the data collected, Russia and Ukraine are not included in this edition of the Ranking. Bahrain was a new economy measured in 2022, making its début in June’s IMD World Competitiveness Ranking.

Singapore came in top in Asia and fourth globally. Heartened by its push for tech development the Asian country is excited by its efforts to enhance data flow and data use, as well as its growing talent that has contributed to its rise in the rankings.

While Singapore remains at the top of the pack, there is still much to be done to broaden its digital adoption across the economy. This is key to its long-term global competitiveness, more so as the country once again faces economic headwinds.

Singapore, a model for prosperity. (Photo: Foundation for Economic Education)

Ranking methodology

This year, 54 criteria were measured against a mixture of external hard data and the IMD Executive Opinion Survey and arranged into three major groups: future readiness, knowledge and technology.

The ranking measures the capacity and readiness of the 63 economies to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society. Based on a mixture of hard data and survey replies from business and government executives, the digital rankings help governments and companies to understand where to focus their resources and what might be best practices when embarking on digital transformation.]

The ranking found that in digitally competitive economies, cybersecurity measures are top priority for public and private sectors. Governments and the private sector need to shield their digital infrastructure from cyber-attacks if they want to continue in the race for digitally competitive economies.

This was a major finding in the 2022 edition of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking. All things being equal, economies that want to develop a solid roadmap for digitalization should invest equal amounts in talent, training and education, scientific concentration and R&D.

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