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Hong Kong among ‘stand-out’ digital economies
City ranks second to Singapore in Asia-Pacific and third globally in a study of digital progress in 90 markets
The Asset 11 Dec 2020

Hong Kong ranks second to Singapore in Asia-Pacific and third globally among the world’s most highly digitally advanced economies, a study finds.

The Chinese territory is one of the most advanced digital economies with a score of 88.12, behind Singapore (98.82) and the United States (89.82), but ahead of other economies in Asia-Pacific, such as South Korea (83.09), Taiwan (80.75), Japan (77.76) and China (61.89), according to the Digital Intelligence Index, which was prepared by the Fletcher School at Tufts University in partnership with Mastercard.

The Digital Intelligence Index is a data-driven holistic evaluation of the progress of the digital economy across 90 economies, combining more than 358 indicators in two scorecards: “digital evolution” and “digital trust”.

Under the “digital evolution” category, the research puts Hong Kong among the 13 “stand-out” markets, along with Singapore, the US, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Estonia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Qatar, which are highly digitally advanced and exhibit high momentum.

“These economies are leaders in driving innovation, building on their existing advantages in efficient and effective ways,” the study notes.

Mapping 95% of the world’s online population and drawing on 12 years of data, the “digital evolution” scorecard measures four key pillars of institutional environment, demand conditions, supply conditions, and the capacity for innovation and change.

“Hong Kong provides citizens with a near seamless experience, which includes advanced infrastructure, broad access and unparalleled interaction. This experience is also matched by high levels of engagement with the digitalizing world,” the study notes.

The “digital trust” scorecard, on the other hand, measures 198 indicators in 42 of the index’s economies across four key pillars: behaviour, attitudes, environment, and experience.

The city ranks second (75.77) in behaviour and third (68.71) in experience globally. It ranks fourth (55.15) in Asia-Pacific in providing a digital trust environment, behind Singapore, New Zealand and Japan, which have put investment in strong security, privacy, accountability measures and in minimizing friction.

This may also explain why Hong Kong is observed to hold more sceptical attitudes towards technology, digitalization and the future, with a score of 34.93, according to the study.

Bhaskar Chakravorti, dean of global business at Fletcher, notes: “The pandemic may be the purest test of the world’s progress towards digitalization. We have a clearer view on how dynamic digital economies can contribute to economic resiliency during a time of unparalleled global turmoil and can be positioned for recovery and change.”

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