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Denmark Rises, U.S. Sinks, in Economic Study

For the first time, Denmark tops the rankings of The Global Information Technology Report 2006-2007 Networked Readiness Index. Denmark's levels of networked readiness result from the country's excellent regulatory environment, coupled with a clear government leadership and vision in leveraging Information and Communication Technology for growth, and promoting ICT penetration and usage.

With record coverage of 122 economies worldwide and published for the sixth consecutive year, The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) has become the world's most respected assessment of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations.

The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures the propensity of countries to leverage the opportunities offered by ICT for development and increased competitiveness. It also establishes a broad international framework mapping out the enabling factors of such capacity. The Report is produced by the World Economic Forum in cooperation with INSEAD, the leading international business school.

"Leveraging ICT is increasingly becoming an essential instrument for countries and national stakeholders to ensure continued prosperity for their people. Nordic countries have shown how an early focus on education, innovation and promotion of ICT penetration and diffusion is a winning strategy for increased networked readiness and competitiveness. Denmark, in particular, has benefited from very effective government e-leadership, reflected in early liberalization of the telecommunications sector, a first-rate regulatory framework and large availability of e-government services," said Irene Mia, Senior Economist of the Global Competitiveness Network at the World Economic Forum and co-editor of the Report.

"In recent years, the world has witnessed the power of ICT in revolutionizing the business and economic landscape and empowering individuals, while fostering social networks and virtual communities. Recognizing the importance of ICT as a driver of growth and prosperity, the World Economic Forum -- jointly with INSEAD since 2002 -- has produced The Global Information Technology Report each year since 2001, assessing the progress of networked readiness in over 100 economies and providing an authoritative instrument for facilitating public-private dialog, whereby policy-makers, business leaders and other stakeholders can evaluate progress on a continual basis," said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Under the theme Connecting to the Networked Economy, The Global Information Technology Report appears at a critical juncture in the evolving role of ICT in the world economy, when access to the global network is increasingly perceived as an important cornerstone for the development of economies and societies.

In line with the World Economic Forum’s sustained efforts to expand the geographical coverage of the Report, this year seven new countries from diverse regions of the world (mainly Asia and Africa) have been included in the sample.

The Networked Readiness Index examines the preparedness of countries to use ICT effectively on three dimensions: the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key stakeholders -- individuals, businesses and governments -- to use and benefit from ICT; and their actual usage of the latest information and communication technology available.

Soumitra Dutta, Chaired Professor of Business and Technology, Dean of External Relations at INSEAD and co-editor of the Report, explained "The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) provides a snapshot of country's weaknesses and strengths with regard to ICT development and capacity to leverage the latter for increased competitiveness, thus offering policy-makers and business leaders a neutral platform for discussion and a useful tool in drawing a road-map towards increased networked readiness."

Once again, Denmark is number one for the first time, moving up 2 positions from last year and reflecting an upward trend dating back to 2003. The other significant change, the U.S. has moved from first to sixth place, as a result of a downward trend that has been documented in various other independent studies.

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