Asian markets gain ground in digital space

05 July 2010

STOCKHOLM: Many markets in Asia are catching up with their counterparts in Europe and North America in terms of their "e-readiness", according to a report.

The Economist Intelligence Group assessed 70 nations across the globe in order to establish which countries had developed the most advanced "digital economy".

Its criteria included the price and penetration of broadband and wireless services, as well as the popularity of technology such as the mobile internet with consumers.

Sweden and Denmark headed the list, with Finland, Norway and the Netherlands also performing strongly among the European economies analysed.

Despite lagging behind with regard to its mobile and broadband infrastructure, the US rose two places compared with a similar study published last year, to reach third overall.

The EIU argued this positive result was linked to the surge in uptake of the mobile internet in America, a shift that has been prompted in part by the rise of Apple's iPhone and other equivalent devices.

Hong Kong and Singapore were the top two countries from Asia, in seventh and eighth respectively.

Australia took ninth, down three positions on the 2009 findings, with New Zealand climbing by one spot to tenth.

Taiwan leapt by four places to twelfth, with South Korea and Japan both up by six, to thirteenth and sixteenth places respectively.

The EIU noted that the Asian members of its panel scored particularly highly in relation to the quality of their standard and wireless broadband infrastructure.

Elsewhere, Portugal, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, and Poland were unchanged in the rankings, while Ireland, Spain, and Estonia all recorded slight improvements.

France fell five spots to twentieth, with Germany, Austria, Belgium and the UK also registering modest declines year-on-year.

Data sourced from Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff