Seven economies in the Asia-Pacific region have been ranked among the global top 20 in terms of their preparedness to use info-communications technology, according to a new study.
In the 10th Global Information Technology Report released Wednesday, business school Insead and the World Economic Forum (WEF) praised the Asia-Pacific region, calling it "home to some of the best performers in the world and to the economies that have proven [to be] the most dynamic over time".
Topping the regional performers was Singapore, which held on to its No. 2 position in the report's Network Readiness Index (NRI). The city-state, which lost out to Sweden by "a mere 0.01 point" difference, was found to have the "most conducive political and regulatory environment in the world".
The other six Asia-Pacific markets which also made it the top 20 were Taiwan at No. 6, Korea at No. 10, Hong Kong at No. 12, Australia at No. 17, New Zealand at No. 18 and Japan at No. 19.
Asian giants China and India took the 36th and 48th spots, respectively. China "leapfrogged" 23 positions since 2006; India, however, slipped five places compared to last year, the report revealed.
Malaysia was singled out as the only non-high income country to be featured in the top 30, and its Southeast Asian neighbor Indonesia dropped 14 notches from 2010 to No. 53 this year. Vietnam occupied the 55th position and the Philippines registered No. 86 in the new index.
According to the report, the NRI is based on three dimensions: the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key societal stakeholders--individuals, businesses and governments--to use and benefit from ICT; and the actual use of available ICT.
NRI is based on publicly available data combined with the results of the Executive Opinion Survey conducted annually by WEF with its partner institutes in various countries. The survey polled 15,000 executives and adds qualitative dimensions to assess the countries' networked readiness, according to the report.
In a statement, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) CEO Ronnie Tay, said: "We are encouraged that Singapore is placed overall second in the latest WEF Global Information Technology Report. Singapore has been harnessing ICT over the last three decades to support our economic and social development."
Tay also noted that the country has been making good progress in developing its next-generation ICT infrastructure as well as driving infocomm innovation, usage and adoption to realize its iN2015 vision.