SINGAPORE has retained its status as the world's second-most networked country in this year's Networked Readiness Index (NRI).
It lost out the top position to Finland, which kept its pole position in the index, which is part of a highly-regarded annual Global Information Technology Report (GITR) done by Insead, in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
The GITR was launched in 2002 to assess the digital ecosystems of 148 developed and developing economies, ranking each using the NRI to understand how markets use ICT (information and communications technology) to enhance economic productivity and social development.
As in previous years, the top 10 spots were dominated by northern European economies, the Asian Tigers and some advanced Western economies.
Finland, Sweden and Norway are positioned among the top five; Asian Tigers Singapore, Hong Kong South Korea and Taiwan feature among the top 10.
Heaping praise on Singapore, the report described the city state as one of the best pro-business and pro-innovation environments in the world, which contributed to its top rank in terms of ICT impact, notably on social development.
The report says: "Supported by a government with a clear digital strategy that offers the best online services in the world, an ICT infrastructure that is relentlessly being improved over time (ranking 16th), and one of the highest quality educational systems in the world (third), notably in terms of mathematics and science (first), Singapore has become one of the most knowledge-intensive economies globally (second) and is an ICT-generation powerhouse (ninth)."