Taipei, Taiwan was ranked 16th out of 63 countries in global digital competitiveness by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) for 2018, a fall of four places from last year.
Taiwan was fifth among Asia-Pacific economies, behind Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea, but ahead of Japan, China and Thailand, according to the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Rankings 2018 published Tuesday.
The United States overtook Singapore as the world's most digitally competitive economy, while Singapore fell to second place, followed by Sweden in third, Denmark and Switzerland.
The World Digital Competitiveness Ranking measures economies using 50 indicators in three categories: knowledge, technology and future readiness.
Taiwan was ranked 19th in technology, 11th in knowledge and 22nd in future readiness.
Responding to Taiwan's four-place fall, the National Development Council (NDC) said that as Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, many international institutions that compile world rankings have difficulty collecting official statistics and the ranking does not necessarily reflect the real situation in Taiwan.
Citing the indicator for "smartphone possession" under the sub-factor of "adaptive attitudes" in the future readiness category as an example, the NDC said that Taiwan's "smartphone possession" ranking dropped from last year's fifth place to 27th this year, noting that the ranking represents a huge difference from the public perception of "smartphone possession" in Taiwan.
After contacting IMD, the NDC learned that the figure for "smartphone possession" in Taiwan at 70.2 percent was given to IMD by Euromonitor International Ltd., a privately owned company that provides global business intelligence and strategic market analysis.
However, there is a huge difference between the data provided by Euromonitor International and the National Communications Commission, an independent statutory agency of the Executive Yuan responsible for regulating the development of the communications and information industry, which puts the figure at 89.48 percent, according to the NDC.
The NDC said that it has sent an official letter to IMD asking for the figure to be corrected.
Despite significant differences between some figures and the real situation in Taiwan, the 2018 World Digital Competitiveness Rankings still highlight Taiwan's strength in digital capabilities, with the country ranked among the three most competitive entities in five areas.
Taiwan came top in "total R&D personnel per capita," second in "mobile broadband subscribers" and "IT and media stock market capitalization," as well as third in " educational assessment in math" and "high-tech exports," according to the 2018 rankings.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel