In the latest Networked Readiness Index, compiled by the World Economic Forum, Estonia is in the top 25, although the country has slipped by one place.
The annually published Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures the propensity for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by information and communications technology (ICT). The NRI seeks to better understand the impact of ICT on the competitiveness of nations. The index is a composite of three components: the environment for ICT offered by a given country or community (market, political, regulatory, and infrastructure environment), the readiness of the country's key stakeholders (individuals, businesses, and governments) to use ICT, and the usage of ICT among these stakeholders.
Estonia has held its position at about the same level for many years, without much change either way, although its position was slightly better in 2014, when it ranked 21st out of 148 countries (22nd out of 143 in 2015).
Estonia's southern neighbors are also catching up – Latvia has risen six places to 33rd and Lithuania is 31st. NRI specifically mentions all three countries in a positive light compared to other former communist-dominated countries. “Thanks to the strong performance of Estonia and the steady rise of Latvia, which is catching up to Lithuania (31st), the Baltic countries are slowly but surely bridging the gap with the Nordics - a remarkable achievement for the three former Soviet-occupied republics. These countries are breaking away from what was once a fairly homogenous group of Eastern European countries that have joined the European Union (EU) since 2004: Slovenia (37th, down one), the Czech Republic (43rd, down one), Hungary (53rd, down six), Croatia (54th, down eight), and the Slovak Republic (59th, no change) are either stable or losing ground. Meanwhile Poland has jumped four places to enter the top 50, and Romania - once the worst performer in the European Union - has leapfrogged 12 positions to reach 63rd place, ahead of Bulgaria (73rd).”
However, Estonia has still some serious catching up to do, if it truly wants to compete with Finland and Sweden, respectively No. 2 and 3 in the index.
The top spot belongs to Singapore. “The city-state’s government has one of the world’s best ranges of online services and e-participation tools and ranks behind only the United Arab Emirates for the impact of information technology on government efficiency. Singapore offers the most conducive business and innovation environment worldwide and the second most digital-ready workforce (2nd, behind Finland.),” the report said.
Editor: S. Tambur