EMBARGOED: The Russian Federation takes first place in CIS region, with Uzbekistan a brand-new entry in the global Network Readiness Index 2023

The Russian Federation takes first place in CIS region, with Uzbekistan a brand-new entry in the global Network Readiness Index 2023

Russia is the highest-ranking country of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the global Network Readiness Index 2023 (NRI), published today, placing in 38th. New entry Uzbekistan came fifth in the region, placing 82nd.

The seven CIS countries placed in top 113 of the report, which measures the world’s digital readiness by nation. Russia, Kazakhstan (58th), and Armenia (63 rd) emerge as the top three performers, and Azerbaijan ranks fourth in the region, 75th globally. This is the first time Uzbekistan (82nd) has featured in the NRI, placing well ahead of Tajikistan (113 th).

Three economies, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia are recognized as exceeding digital readiness benchmarks in twoor more areas. However, room for improvement remains in high-tech and R&D sectors, where the region falls short in the rankings.

The CIS showcases the smallest variation in scores among its member nations, with Uzbekistan andKyrgyzstan closing the gap between the region’s lower middle-income and upper middle-income economies. Countries in the region generally performed best in the categories of Governance and Impact, demonstrating notable levels of digital inclusion and the ability to generate meaningful impact within the digital economy. The NRI, published by Portulans Institute and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, provides a robust framework for assessing the impact of Information Communication & Technology (ICT) on society and the development of nations. It evaluates 134 economies based on 58 indicators across four dimensions of digital readiness – technology, people, governance, and impact – providing meaningful insight for business leaders and policymakers.

This year’s report, titled ‘Trust in a Network Society: A crisis of the digital age?’, draws attention to the potential for a serious crisis in public trust in the internet and related technologies in an increasingly interconnected world.

Soumitra Dutta, co-editor of the NRI and Peter Moores Dean at Saïd Business School, said:
‘The CIS region sees Russia, Kazakhstan, and Armenia leading the digital charge, with three economies recognized exceeding digital readiness benchmarks in two or more areas. The performances of Kazakhstan and Armenia, in particular, demonstrate efforts in the realms of digital workforce and governance, both critical for leveraging opportunities in the new digital era.’

Globally, the USA secured the top ranking for the second year in a row, whilst Singapore retained its second-place position, and Finland surged by four places to secure 3rd from 7th last year. The Netherlands and Sweden have ranked 4th and 5th, respectively.

Switzerland ranked sixth (down from fifth in NRI 2022) in this year’s NRI, Republic of Korea achieved seventh place (up from #9), Denmark placed #8 (down from #6), Germany dropped to ninth place, (down one), and the U.K. ranked 10th.
Among the top 25 countries, 16 are from Europe, five are from Eastern and Southeastern Asia (including Singapore, the Republic of Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Japan), two come from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), and two are from North America (Canada and the United States).

The NRI 2023 publishes at a time characterised by dramatic technological advancement, and captures the readiness of 134 economies to capitalise on this widespread change.

Reflecting on this year’s NRI, Bruno Lanvin, co-editor of NRI, said:
“You cannot improve what you cannot measure. But can you improve anything that remains imperfectly defined? As our digital world continues to evolve and shape before us, policy makers, investors, analysts, academics and ordinary citizens are often expected to make fast decisions and articulate sound assessments about rapidly changing trends and practices. The need for fact-based and quantifiable descriptions of our network societies has never been so urgent. This is an area in which, for several decades, NRI has been trying to inform the choices to be made by business, government and civil society.”

The regional leaders for NRI 2023 include Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the Russian Federation, Finland, and the United States. Overall, these regional trends in the NRI 2023 highlight the varying levels of progress and challenges faced by economies across the different parts of the world as their journey towards digital readiness and network capabilities continues.

Featured Photo by Michael Parulava on Unsplash.

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