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Finland leader in information technology
United States drops to second place, Germany ranks tenth

New York/ Oxford (pte032/20.02.2003/14:05) - Finland has become the country with the fastest development of information and communications technology (ICT) networks, according to the Global Information Technology Report 2002-2003.

The Scandinavian country jumped from third place to first on the so-called Network Readiness Index (NRI), pushing the United States back to second place.

The NRI assesses what is defined as "the degree of preparedness of a nation or community for the participation and benefit of ICT developments".

In total, 82 countries were evaluated on their current use of ICT, as well as their potential for the use and development of further communications networks.

The first ten spots went to Finland, the USA, Singapore, Sweden, Iceland, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Taiwan and Germany. Switzerland ranked thirteenth and Austria placed sixteenth. Russia only managed to hold spot 69 on the list, with China climbing to 43. Last on the ranking was Haiti.

The report was published by Soumitra Dutta, professor at INSEAD, Bruno Lanvin of the World Bank, and Fiona Paua of the World Economic Forum The publishers say they based the choice of countries in the study on the availability of relevant data, and would consider it a big challenge to include more states in the index. They also say the margin for statistical uncertainty could blur the results where only small gaps exist between countries on the index.

According to the publishers, "the rankings are useful as relative indicators of ICT performance in these countries."

Excerpts of the study can be found on World Economic Forum website. The complete print edition is available at Oxford University Press

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