In the Middle Ages, the Vikings and their descendants the Normans were the top dogs in Europe when it came to trade . Their modern counterparts are doing it again, with Denmark top dog and Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway in the top ten in the world when it comes to the Networked Readiness Index compiled by the World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report.
Denmark is now regarded as the world leader in technological innovation and application, with its Nordic neighbours Sweden, Finland and Norway claiming second, fourth and 10th place respectively, according to a BBC report.
Denmark, in particular, has benefited from the very effective government e-leadership, reflected in early liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, a first-rate regulatory environment and large availability of e-government services,” said Irene Mia, senior economist at World Economic Forum.
European countries to make the top 20 included Switzerland in fifth place, the Netherlands, one of the most improved in sixth, the UK (nine), Germany (16), Austria (17) and Estonia (20).
Ireland just misses the top twenty at no 21, surprisingly ahead of France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain and Italy. The latter comes in at a lowly 39th. Of course one should note the phrase ‘Networked Readiness’. So what does it take to get into the top 20? Obviously more of what made Denmark the leader. Ireland is a small country, easy to turn around with the right policies, so it’s a matter of political will and skill, really.
NETWORKED READINESS INDEX RANKINGS 2006 (2005)
1: Denmark (3)
2: Sweden (8)
3: Singapore (2)
4: Finland (5)
5: Switzerland (9)
6: Netherlands (12)
7: US (1)
8: Iceland (4)
9: UK (10)
10: Norway (13)
Source: World Economic Forum (PDF file)