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PRESS RELEASE

Technology Report Stresses Importance of ICT as a Catalyst for Growth in Global Turmoil

  • Denmark and Sweden continue to be assessed as the world's most networked economies for the third consecutive year in The Global Information Technology Report while the United States moves up one position to third place
  • China improves 11 places and takes the lead of the BRIC economies for the first time
  • The eighth edition of the Report covers a record 134 economies
  • Click here to watch a video interview with Irene Mia, Senior Economist of the Global Competitiveness Network at the World Economic Forum and Co-Editor of the Report
  • Put your questions to Irene Mia at http://www.mogulus.com/worldeconomicforum on Thursday 26 March at 17.00 CET
  • Report highlights, summary, country profiles, quotes and more at: http://www.weforum.org/gitr

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 26, 2009 - Denmark and Sweden once again lead the rankings of The Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009, released today by the World Economic Forum. They are followed by the United States which is up one position, thus confirming its pre-eminence in networked readiness in the current times of economic slowdown. Singapore (4), Switzerland (5) and the other Nordic countries together with the Netherlands and Canada complete the top 10. The Report underlines that good education fundamentals and high levels of technological readiness and innovation are essential engines of growth needed to overcome the current economic crisis.

"The development story of the most networked countries in the world, including the Nordic countries, Singapore and the United States among others, has owed much to a consistent focus in the national agenda on education excellence, innovation and an extensive ICT access. This success stands as a reminder for leaders in both the public and private sectors not to lose focus on ICT as an important enabler of growth and competitiveness in times of crisis," said Irene Mia, Senior Economist of the Global Competitiveness Network at the World Economic Forum and Co-Editor of the Report.

The Report is produced by the World Economic Forum in cooperation with INSEAD, the leading international business school, and is sponsored again this year by Cisco Systems. Published for the eighth consecutive year with record coverage of 134 economies worldwide, the Report remains the world's most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations.

Under the theme Mobility in a Networked World, this year's Report places a particular focus on the relationship and interrelations between mobility and ICT.

The Networked Readiness Index (NRI), featured in the Report, examines how prepared countries are to use ICT effectively on three dimensions: the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key stakeholder groups ? individuals, businesses and governments ? to use and benefit from ICT; and their actual usage of the latest information and communication technologies available.

The NRI uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries included in the Report. The Survey provides unique data on many qualitative institutional and business environment issues.

Networked Readiness Index 2008-2009

This cross-country analysis of the drivers of networked readiness provides useful comparative information for making business decisions and additional value to governments wishing to improve their ICT preparedness.

"Broadband access literally transforms the way we live, work, play, and learn by providing unprecedented opportunities for people to communicate, access information, improve education and healthcare, enter new markets and expand the reach of businesses," said John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco. "Now is the time to invest in ubiquitous broadband and empower all of the world's citizens to participate in the human network. I believe that the most important steps government and business leaders in both developed and developing nations can take to encourage economic growth and global prosperity, is to concentrate collectively, collaboratively on longer-term opportunities like universal broadband access in order to raise the quality of life-and our economic prosperity for generations to come."

Download the full Networked Readiness Index 2008-2009 rankings and read the highlights on our website: http://www.weforum.org/gitr

An update of the NRI is followed by specialist contributions written by renowned academics and industry experts, exploring different aspects related to mobility, ICT and innovation such us mobile telephony and its impact on economic growth and networked readiness, Internet ubiquity, mobile reality mining, and mobility of talents and research and development (R&D) flows. Also insightful case studies on best practices in innovation and ICT development and diffusion in Egypt, the Republic of Korea and Brazil are included.

The Report contains detailed country profiles for the 134 economies featured in the study, providing a snapshot of each economy's level of ICT penetration and usage. Also included is an extensive section of data tables, including each indicator used in the computation of the Index.

The editors of the Report are Soumitra Dutta, Dean, External Relations and Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology, INSEAD, France, and Irene Mia, Director and Senior Economist, Global Competitiveness Network, World Economic Forum.

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The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (http://www.weforum.org).

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