PH one of world’s top ‘digital risers’, says EU report

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The Philippines is one of the top “digital risers” worldwide, according to the Digital Riser Report 2020 of the Berlin-based European Center for Digital Competitiveness by ESCP Business School.

The Philippines was named as one of the world’s top digital risers along with France and Saudi Arabia which ranked first among G7 countries and G20 nations, respectively.

The Philippines landed at the top spot in East Asia and the Pacific region, while New Zealand was surprisingly at the bottom of the ranking.

“In East Asia and the Pacific, the Philippines was the top Digital Riser over the last three years, while New Zealand fell significantly behind,” the report said.

The report analyzes a country’s digital competitiveness during the last three years as indicated by its digital ecosystem and mindset.

The Philippines also ranked first in mindset dimension and second in ecosystem in East Asia and Pacific.

“The Philippines’ outperformance can mainly be explained by its Innovate Start-up Act lighthouse initiative, which was passed in 2019 to strengthen, promote and develop an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem and culture,” the report said.

Among the strengths of the Philippines cited by the report include:

  • The government’s regulation on startup visas for owners, employees, and investors as part of the Start-up Assistance Program 2019-2023;
  • Prioritizing and expediting promising startups and enablers for their applications with state services; and
  • Directing education institutions to integrate entrepreneurship in their curricula, as well as providing grants and incentives to academic institutions.

Within the region, Thailand is next to the Philippines, followed by Indonesia, China, Cambodia, Japan, Mongolia, Brunei, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Laos, and New Zealand.

“The Digital Riser Index indicates that the competitive landscape around digital technologies is moving extremely quickly. Governments that place digital transformation at the top of their agenda can achieve tangible results in relatively short time frames, and countries traditionally less associated with digital, such as Saudi Arabia, have climbed to the top of the Group of Twenty (G20) in terms of their relative progress in this field,” the report noted.

“Also, our study highlights that countries can become Digital Risers independent of size and still boost their relative competitive position. In the East Asia and Pacific region, for example, the Philippines and Thailand have outperformed much larger neighboring countries, such as China and Indonesia, which suggests that progress is attainable independently from both a country’s digital competitiveness baseline and its size.”

By group, the top digital risers are France for G7 countries, Saudi Arabia for G20 countries and Middle East and North Africa region, Armenia in Eurasia, Bulgaria in Europe and North America, Dominican Republic in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sri Lanka in South Asia, and Seychelles in Sub-Saharan Africa. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)

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