Singapore 4th in global digital competitiveness, top in Asia

Singapore ranked first in the "technology" factor and retained its top spot in the "regulatory framework" sub-factor. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore has moved up one spot to place fourth in the latest edition of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, after Denmark, the United States and Sweden.

The Republic's progress was driven by an enhancement in tertiary education (improvement in pupil-teacher ratio), an increase in its share of employees working in research and development (R&D), and improvements in regulation conducive to overseas talent attraction and scientific research, said the World Competitiveness Centre (WCC), which published the rankings on Wednesday.

WCC is a research centre at the International Institute for Management Development, an independent academic institution based in Singapore and Lausanne, Switzerland.

The annual ranking looked at 63 global economies, and how equipped they are at adopting new digital technologies in government practices, business models and society. It assessed each country on 54 criteria, and also polled mid- and senior-level executives.

Singapore ranked first in the "technology" factor and retained its top spot in the "regulatory framework" sub-factor, but had a less remarkable showing in the "future readiness" factor, placing 10th. WCC defines future readiness as "the level of country preparedness to exploit digital transformation".

In particular, Singaporeans' perceptions on the impact of immigration policies, which fall under the "regulatory framework" sub-factor, have improved this year.

South Korea moved up four places to rank eighth, making it the second Asian country on the leaderboard.

Hong Kong saw one of the largest drops this year, falling from second to ninth place. It came in 41st for R&D expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product and 24th for R&D productivity.

Where cyber security is concerned, all regions are "far from being fully prepared to combat sophisticated cyber attacks", WCC said. East Asian economies are among those showing the highest level of cyber security capacity. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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