The World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report has ranked Singapore as the world’s top economy in exploiting global ICT developments, knocking the US off the top position. The report places Singapore as the best performer worldwide in a number of categories – including the cost of a telephone connection. It also scored extremely highly in other areas such as the affordability of an internet connection. According to Chan Yeng Kit, CEO of the InfoComm Development Agency (IDA) in Singapore, 83% of all companies in Singapore use a computer and 76% have access to the internet; 1,600 government services are available online. By contrast the US dropped to fifth place, although this was less due to actual erosion in performance and more as a result of continuing improvements by other countries.
Nordic countries managed to achieve consistently high rankings, with Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Sweden in second, third, fourth and sixth place respectively. Iceland in particular achieved the greatest improvement year on year, rising from tenth position in 2003 to number two a year later. Hong Kong and Japan took seventh and eight place, while Estonia led the central and Eastern European countries with a rank of 25. Chile leads the Latin American region at the 35, well ahead of Brazil (46), Mexico (60) and Argentina (76). Of the 23 African countries covered by the report South Africa and Tunisia rank highest, at 34 and 31,up from 37 and 40 in 2003. At the tail end of the league table are Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Chad.