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Asian Countries Advance in the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2007 E-Readiness Rankings, as the Goalposts of Digital Leadership Shift


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LONDON - 26 Apr 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM)

Key findings

   

E-readiness continues to improve around the world in 2007, but achieving it is becoming more complex. To reflect this, the Economist Intelligence Unit has "raised the bar" of e-readiness by modifying its ranking methodology. This change in methodology, along with underlying improvements in individual countries, has led to changes in the league table. Several countries, particularly in Asia, have seen their positions improve, while others have experienced (mostly slight) declines. At the same time, the fundamental tenets of e-readiness remain unchanged, and the leaders in 2006 are still leaders today -- nine of last year's top ten countries remain in that bracket.

Denmark and the US retain their number one and two spots in the rankings (with Sweden also tied for 2nd), but Hong Kong (4th), Singapore (6th), South Korea (16th), Taiwan (17th) and Japan (18th) have experienced a boost in 2007 in both scores and ranks. This is due in no small part to their governments' vision and commitment in pushing digital development, and to continued progress in adoption of broadband and other advanced infrastructure.

Several top-tier countries, meanwhile, experienced a shift in their overall e-readiness performance as a result of the methodology changes. This is mainly due to a sharpened focus on the policy environment and e-government, as well as education and innovation. Among the countries affected were Switzerland (5th), Canada (13th), Germany (19th) and Ireland (21st). Their e-readiness has not declined, but the model refinements have uncovered areas where they and other countries need to improve to maintain progress.

"Technology leadership in the world is becoming a fast-moving target," observes Robin Bew, Editorial Director of the Economist Intelligence Unit. "Those at the top of today's league table cannot be complacent -- changing technologies, and attitudes to technology usage, mean that hard-won advantages can be quickly eroded by nimble-footed rivals."

Since 2000, the Economist Intelligence Unit has published an annual e-readiness ranking of the world's largest economies, using a model developed together with the IBM Institute for Business Value. A country's "e-readiness" is a measure of its e-business environment, a collection of factors that indicate how amenable a market is to Internet-based opportunities. Increasingly, it is also about how individuals and businesses consume digital goods and services.

"The role of governments in laying the structural and policy groundwork for an Internet-ready economy is essential today as business and society adapt to ongoing globalisation," says George Pohle, Global Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value. "This groundwork, as reflected in this year's rankings, provides a critical path for individuals and businesses to apply these new digital channels in innovative applications -- spurring further economic development."

Other highlights of the 2007 rankings include the following:

Economist Intelligence Unit e-readiness rankings, 2007

2007 e-readiness   2006     Country    2007 e-readiness  2006
rank (of 69)       rank                 score (of 10)    score
     1              1        Denmark       8.88          9.00
     2 (tie)        2             US       8.85          8.88
     2 (tie)        4         Sweden       8.85          8.74
     4             10      Hong Kong       8.72          8.36
     5              3    Switzerland       8.61          8.81
     6             13      Singapore       8.60          8.24
     7              5             UK       8.59          8.64
     8              6    Netherlands       8.50          8.60
     9              8      Australia       8.46          8.50
    10              7        Finland       8.43          8.55
    11             14        Austria       8.39          8.19
    12             11         Norway       8.35          8.35
    13              9         Canada       8.30          8.37
    14             14    New Zealand       8.19          8.19
    15             20        Bermuda       8.15          7.81
    16             18    South Korea       8.08          7.90
    17             23         Taiwan       8.05          7.51
    18             21          Japan       8.01          7.77
    19             12        Germany       8.00          8.34
    20             17        Belgium       7.90          7.99
    21             16        Ireland       7.86          8.09
    22             19         France       7.77          7.86
    23             22         Israel       7.58          7.59
    24             --         Malta*       7.56            --
    25             25          Italy       7.45          7.14
    26             24          Spain       7.29          7.34
    27             26       Portugal       7.14          7.07
    28             27        Estonia       6.84          6.71
    29             28       Slovenia       6.66          6.43
    30             31          Chile       6.47          6.19
    31             32     Czech Rep.       6.32          6.14
    32             29         Greece       6.31          6.42
    33             30            UAE       6.22          6.32
    34             32        Hungary       6.16          6.14
    35             35   South Africa       6.10          5.74
    36             37       Malaysia       5.97          5.60
    37             39         Latvia       5.88          5.30
    38             39         Mexico       5.86          5.30
    39             36       Slovakia       5.84          5.65
    40             34         Poland       5.80          5.76
    41             38      Lithuania       5.78          5.45
    42             45         Turkey       5.61          4.77
    43             41         Brazil       5.45          5.29
    44             42      Argentina       5.40          5.27
    45             49        Romania       5.32          4.44
    46 (tie)       43        Jamaica       5.05          4.67
    46 (tie)       46   Saudi Arabia       5.05          5.03
    48             44       Bulgaria       5.01          4.86
    49             47       Thailand       4.91          4.63
    50             48      Venezuela       4.89          4.47
    51             49           Peru       4.83          4.44
    52             54         Jordan       4.77          4.22
    53             51       Colombia       4.69          4.25
    54 (tie)       53          India       4.66          4.04
    54 (tie)       56    Philippines       4.66          4.41
    56             57          China       4.43          4.02
    57             52         Russia       4.27          4.14
    58             55          Egypt       4.26          4.30
    59             58        Ecuador       4.12          3.88
    60             61        Ukraine       4.02          3.62
    61             59      Sri Lanka       3.93          3.75
    62             60        Nigeria       3.92          3.69
    63             67       Pakistan       3.79          3.03
    64             64     Kazakhstan       3.78          3.22
    65             66        Vietnam       3.73          3.12
    66             63        Algeria       3.63          3.32
    67             62      Indonesia       3.39          3.39
    68             68     Azerbaijan       3.26          2.92
    69             65           Iran       3.08          3.15

* New to the annual rankings in 2007.

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit.


Note to editors

Methodology: How the scores were derived

Nearly 100 quantitative and qualitative criteria, organised into six distinct categories, feed into the e-readiness rankings. The six categories (and their weight in the model) are connectivity and technology infrastructure (20%); business environment (15%; the nine criteria used here summarise the 70 indicators covered by the Economist Intelligence Unit's business environment rankings); social and cultural environment (15%); legal and policy environment (10%); government policy and vision (15%); and consumer and business adoption (25%).

The data used in the rankings are sourced from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Pyramid Research, the World Bank and other organisations. Qualitative criteria are assessed by the Economist Intelligence Unit's extensive network of country experts, and their assessments are reviewed by our top economists. For more information on the methodology, please refer to our white paper, available in PDF format, at www.eiu.com/2007eReadinessRankings.

For this and previous e-readiness rankings, the Economist Intelligence Unit worked in co-operation with the IBM Institute for Business Value to build the rankings model. The Economist Intelligence Unit, however, is entirely responsible for the rankings and the content of this white paper.

About the Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the business information arm of The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist. Through our global network of over 650 analysts, we continuously assess and forecast political, economic and business conditions in 200 countries. As the world's leading provider of country intelligence, we help executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies.

About the IBM Institute for Business Value

For more information visit www.ibm.com.

 

Contact(s) information

Randy Zane
IBM Media Relations
917-472-3589
rzane@us.ibm.com

Joanne McKenna
Economist Intelligence Unit
+44 (0)20 7576 8188
joannemckenna@eiu.com