Date registered: Sep 2004
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US falls into fourth place in technological competiveness
Singapore Surpasses U.S. As Top Tech Nation
Forbes.com staff, 03.09.05, 9:45 AM ET
WEF Ranks The Top Tech Nations
Singapore Takes Top Spot From U.S.
NEW YORK - Singapore has displaced the United States as the top economy in information technology competitiveness, according to the World Economic Forum's latest annual Global Information Technology Report released today.
The U.S. drops from first to fifth in the rankings, which measures the propensity for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by information and communications technology (ICT).
Iceland, Finland and Denmark occupy positions two, three and four out of 104 countries surveyed, with Iceland achieving the most improvement among the top countries, moving up from tenth last year.
India and China significantly improved their positions climbing to numbers 39 and 45, compared to 45 and 51 in 2003, respectively.
The index examines the readiness of economies according to the general macroeconomic and regulatory environment for ICT, the readiness of individuals, businesses and governments to use and benefit from ICT, and their current usage. (Click here to see full rankings.)
"Singapore's remarkable performance," the report says, "is a consequence of the government's consistent and continuous efforts in fostering ICT penetration and usage, as well as the quality of the country's educational system and its able use of foreign technology."
Singapore, which moved up from second place last year, ranked first in a number of subcategories used to determine the overall ranking, known as the Network Readiness Index. These include quality of math and science education, affordability of telephone connection charges and government prioritization and procurement of information and communications technology.
The World Economic Forum says the end of the United States' three years as number one, "is less due to actual erosion in performance with respect to its past history and more to continuing improvements by its competitors."
The U.S. remains number one in the business readiness subcategory and in the quality of its scientific research institutions and business schools, the availability of training opportunities for the labor force and the existence of a well-developed venture capital market.
"Singapore's experience highlights the increasingly central role played by technology as an engine of growth and competitiveness," says Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum and co-author of the report.
"There is a strong correlation between ICT spending and productivity at the national level, which is demonstrated in this research as a strong correlation between the rankings and global competitiveness," says John Chambers, president and chief executive of Cisco Systems (nasdaq: CSCO - news - people ), which sponsored the report.
Click here to see full rankings.
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