Digitization in the EU: Who’s ahead?

Digital competition is heating up. Against the backdrop of Industry 4.0, firms are investing and upgrading heavily. The Scandinavian and Benelux countries are a step ahead of everyone else.

According to the Digital Index compiled by the European Commission, the frontrunners are Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and Belgium. The following dimensions were measured:

  • Connectivity (availability of fast broadband connections) / frontrunners: Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden
  • Human capital / frontrunners: Finland, Sweden, UK
  • Use of Internet / frontrunners: Denmark, Sweden, Belgium
  • Integration of digital technology (e.g. electronic business) / Ireland, Denmark, Sweden
  • Digital public services: Estonia, Denmark, and Finland.

With a digitization level above the EU average are (in descending order): the UK, Estonia, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, Lithuania and Portugal. Most EU countries in Eastern Europe are unable to keep pace here. Bulgaria and Romania in particular show considerable deficits in digitization in some respects. In Italy and Greece, however, the situation doesn’t look much better. Southern and eastern Europe will have to upgrade heavily in the digital area in the coming years in order to avoid falling behind. For providers in Switzerland (which, as a non-EU country, is not listed in the EU Commission’s Digital Index), this is likely to result in the opening of new, attractive sales markets.

European Commission: How digital is your country?

Dossier Industry 4.0

Foreign Trade Forum 2016 (April 21 in Zurich): Industry 4.0 – Is your business model fit for the future?

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