Sweden ranks as the world’s most networked economy in The Global Information Technology Report 2009–2010, a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in partnership with the French business school INSEAD. Singapore came in as no. 2, followed by Denmark, Switzerland and the U.S. Finland came in on sixth place and Norway on tenth place in WEF’s “Networked Readiness Index” which compares 133 countries.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) is an ever-important enabler of renewed and sustainable growth in such a context. Its unique function as a key element of infrastructure for efficient industries and a critical productivity enhancer is crucial for sustaining recovery and laying the foundations for economies that are competitive in the long term, the report states.
Four researchers gives Sweden a glowing review in the chapter “How Networked Is the World? Insights from the Networked Readiness Index 2009–2010″ describing the country as outstanding across the bord:
A runner-up in the last three editions, Sweden overtakes Denmark as the world’s most networked economy for the first time since the Index’s inception. The country’s showing is outstanding across the board: 1st, 4th, and 3rd for environment, readiness, and usage, respectively. This highlights the role of an ICT-conducive environment as a precondition for national stakeholders to fully leverage technology. Indeed, Sweden displays the best and second-best infrastructure and regulatory environments in the world, with comprehensive and efficient hard infrastructure, top-class human resources and education infrastructure, and an extremely friendly regulatory framework ensuring full protection of intellectual property (2nd) and providing for comprehensive ICT laws (4th). The market environment is also assessed as being very ICT-friendly at 5th place, notwithstanding very high taxation levels with a perceived distortive impact (111th for the extent and effect of taxation and 102nd for total tax rates). The three stakeholders show an important degree of propensity and capacity to use ICT, notably businesses (3rd) and individuals (6th), thanks to affordable ICT costs and top-class education and research fundamentals, among other factors.This provides the ideal context for extensive ICT usage, especially by citizens (1st for individual usage) with among the highest penetration rates in the world for PCs (4th) and Internet and broadband Internet (both 2nd), as well as mobile telephony (29th, with 118.3 subscriptions per 100 population). The extremely sophisticated and innovative Swedish business sector is also benefitting fully from ICT in its activities and operations, ranking 1st in the world for the extent of business Internet usage.
(Soumitra Dutta, INSEAD, Irene Mia, World Economic Forum (WEF), Thierry Geiger, WEF, and Eva Trujillo Herrera, WEF)