World Economic Forum Releases Nation's Rankings
Estonia's competitive edge in the information technology sector has decreased in a year, according to an April 12 report by the World Economic Forum.
Estonia fell from 25 in the world to 26. "The combination of an ICT-savvy government with a clear ICT vision and an actively engaged private sector has been at the core of networked readiness success stories such as Israel, Estonia, Korea, and Singapore," wrote the report. "These economies have been able to effectively use ICT as a tool for the structural transformation of their economies and societies, leapfrogging to higher stages of development."
The report also evaluated other areas of Estonia's economy. Here are the highlights:
• Estonia only has the 22nd highest percentage of internet users. Still, the country placed fifth for accessibility of digital content, second for internet access in schools, and second for business usage of internet. Estonia was the third most developed in legislation relating to the use of information and communication technologies. As a known internet piracy haven, Estonia was ranked 34 in intellectual property protection and 37 in curbing software piracy. But the country's level of competition in internet services was 62. Estonia placed 14 in making IT a priority.
• Estonia was the sixth most burdensome country for businesses to comply with governmental requirements. The country's taxes put it in 18th place, for incentives to work and invest. The time it takes to start a business is ranked 20.
• Freedom of the press was ranked 27, which is much worse than other surveys have shown.
• The quality of scientific research institutions was ranked 26, but the country came in 58 in availability of scientists and engineers. While the education system ranked a modest 42, Estonia was first in adult literacy and 21 in quality of math and science education. Per capita, Estonia had the third most cell phone subscriptions, while the average per-minute cost of cell phone conversation placed an incredible 77.
• Estonian consumers ranked 78 in buyer sophistication.
• Estonia ranked 15 in per capita electricity production.