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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

UAE is among world's digital leaders, new report says

Other countries can learn from the UAE's digital strategy to accelerate momentum and growth

The Digital Evolution Index report tracks the digital planet to understand how physical interactions in communication, social exchange, commerce, media and entertainment are being displaced by digital ones.
The Digital Evolution Index report tracks the digital planet to understand how physical interactions in communication, social exchange, commerce, media and entertainment are being displaced by digital ones.

A new study ranks the UAE as among the world’s top countries with high momentum digital growth and a leader in driving innovation.

Citing the UAE as a ‘stand out’ digitally advanced nation, the Digital Evolution Index 2017, a collaboration between the Fletcher School at Tufts University and Mastercard, said the country’s digital strategy could be emulated by other nations.

The research mapped 60 countries dividing them into stand out, stall out, break out and watch out segments.

“Three countries are notable as standouts even within the Stand Out segment: Singapore, New Zealand, and the UAE. Each has a unique policy-led digital strategy and a narrative that may be considered by other nations as worthy of emulation or adoption,” the report released on Thursday stated.

Countries alongside the UAE in the ‘stand out’ section of highly digitally advanced nations are the UK, Japan, Hong Kong and Estonia. These countries build on existing advantages in efficient and effective ways, the study said.

The Digital Evolution Index report tracks the digital planet to understand how physical interactions in communication, social exchange, commerce, media and entertainment are being displaced by digital ones.

The report also identifies where the momentum has slowed.

Big economies such as the US and Germany were placed at the border of ‘stand out’ and ‘stall out,’ with a cautionary note that they should recognize the risks of plateauing and “look to the smaller, higher-momentum countries to explore how policy interventions could be effective in pushing a country into a zone of greater competitiveness.”

Other countries such as Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Finland were also in the ‘stall out’ zone and rated as highly digital advanced with slowing momentum.

“Stall Out countries may look to Stand Out countries for lessons in sustaining innovation-led growth. Countries in the Stall Out zone can put their maturity, scale, and network effects to use to reinvent themselves and grow,” the report said.

Break out countries such as China, Malaysia, Bolivia, Kenya, and Russia had the potential to move to the top. These countries scored low in their current digital state but were evolving rapidly.

The countries to watch out for included Greece, Hungary, Slovenia and South Africa. Those on the ‘watch out’ list faced digital challenges and needed to improve internet access by closing the mobile internet gap or tightening the difference between the number of mobile phones and the number of mobile phones with internet access.

In its analysis of the state and rate of digital evolution across the 60 countries, the report checked the patterns of evolution, which countries were the most digitally competitive, whether the public or private sector were the prime drivers and how the nations accelerated their digital momentum.