SINGAPORE – The Republic placed third in a worldwide ranking of countries’ digital competitiveness, after having been ranked fifth in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The nation’s improved performance was down to its strong standing in policymaking and in training and research, among other factors, according to the survey which compared 64 economies based on their approach to digitalisation.

The seventh edition of the World Digital Competitiveness report was published on Nov 30. It was compiled by the World Competitiveness Centre (WCC), a research centre at the International Institute for Management Development, an independent academic institution based in Singapore and Switzerland.

Each country’s performance is judged based on three fields comprising a range of indicators.

In the field of knowledge, a nation’s international experience, mathematical and tech skills are assessed; investments and internet infrastructure are considered for its technological prowess; and future readiness takes into account digital adoption and cybersecurity, among other factors.

Singapore was ranked under the United States, which took the top spot, and the Netherlands, which was ranked second.

Denmark dropped to fourth place after having topped the list in 2022.

The report found that Singapore’s improved ranking was due to its world-leading country credit rating and internet bandwidth speed scores that helped it to take top spot in the technology segment.

Singapore ranked first in “enforcing contracts” – making sure contracts between companies and governments are adhered to.

This is a sign of institutional strength as it provides stability for social, economic and political outcomes, WCC senior economist Dr Jose Caballero told The Straits Times.

Wireless broadband adoption and tablet ownership rates are also among the highest globally in Singapore.

It also performed well in research and higher education achievement, including mathematics.

Areas of improvement for Singapore include its thin pipeline of senior managers with significant international experience, which would have helped the country to take a higher spot in the 2023 rankings.

The report also found a lack of female researchers here and inadequate privacy protection laws.



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