Singapore and Taiwan are the most IT-savvy economies in Asia, according to the latest Global Information Technology Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Over 115 economies were ranked under the report's Networked Readiness Index, which assesses a nation's ICT condition in three areas--macroeconomic, regulatory and infrastructure environment; readiness of individuals, businesses and the government; and use of the latest ICT technologies.
Taiwan recorded its entry to the top 10 for the first time, jumping eight spots from its 2004 listing of No. 15 to No. 7 last year. In its media statement, the WEF commended the nation for having sound public policies and strong partnership between the public and private sectors.
Singapore, ranked No. 1 last year, relinquished its title to the United States and had to settle for second place.
The WEF noted that Singapore had performed well in the macroeconomic aspect, boasting an "excellent" regulatory environment and a government that is committed to enhancing the use of the latest technologies. In its statement, however, the Forum did not explain why Singapore had lost its leading position.
According to the WEF, the United States edged out other countries for its infrastructure, high levels of business and government usage in new technologies, and the ready availability of venture capital for startups.
Korea also performed well, inching up 10 notches from the previous year to a No. 14 ranking. Japan and Hong Kong, which were in the top 10 last year, slipped to No. 16 and No. 11, respectively.
Other Asian countries did not fare as well in the latest 2005 to 2006 report, with China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, slipping at least nine spots from their rankings in 2004.