Denmark is the world centre for ecommerce. The reason, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report, is that the Danes have embraced new technology with a vengeance: at home at work and in government.

Denmark’s neighbours, Sweden, Norway and Finland rank third, fourth and fifth respectively. The UK ranked second, up from third last year while the US slipped to sixth.

Increased demand for mobile phones, faster internet connections and more user-friendly products is driving the ecommerce market in Asia Pacific as well.

Singapore, ranked twelfth last year, leads the region in seventh position and is singled out as world leader in the broadband sector. Hong Kong is next Asian tiger to flex its claws in the market in ninth position.

Government enthusiasm for new technology is cited as one of the driving factors. Another is a lack of infrastructure which can act as a catalyst to growth.

For example in Estonia, which joins the European Union next month, all state schools have broadband and the majority of internet users are on the same system.

Top Ten E-Ready Countries
2003 rankings in brackets
1. Denmark (2)
2. UK (=3)
3. Sweden (1)
4. Norway (7)
5. Finland (6)
6. US (=3)
7. Singapore (12)
8. Netherlands (=3)
9. Hong Kong (10)
10. Switzerland (8)

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff