Technology & Innovation

Singapore’s digital transformation environment remains the strongest in Asia, according to The EIU

December 11, 2018


  • India, Japan and Hong Kong make upward strides in the second edition of the Asian Digital Transformation Index
  • Japan and mainland China, along with Singapore and Hong Kong, excel in making fibre-optic connections available to businesses and homes
  • Asian countries are pushing ahead in two increasingly important enablers of digital change: South Korea and Singapore in 5G mobile, and Japan, South Korea and mainland China in support for AI development.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has published today . The Index, which was commissioned by Telstra, assesses the country environments that enable technology-led change in business and society. The analysis covers 11 Asian economies, and also extends to three western comparator economies—the US, UK and Australia.
Singapore goes from strength to strength to cement its continued leadership of the Index. The government’s characteristic clarity of ICT vision, for example, shows through in two new infrastructure indicators—fibre deployment and adoption, and 5G development plans. It also outscores all other countries in another new indicator—the availability of telecommunications professionals. Singapore would rank ahead of the comparator countries were they included in the table. (The US and Australia would rank 2nd and 3rdrespectively.)
Although remaining in the lower tier of the Index, India registers considerable improvement in the digital infrastructure and human capital categories. Examples are its rapid expansion of 4G mobile coverage, improved quality of its maths and science education, and increasingly sophisticated citizen use of e-government services.
The development of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities is likely to have a considerable impact on companies’ and economies’ competitiveness in the coming years. Japan, South Korea and mainland China have all pushed ahead aggressively to support AI development in recent years. Their scores in this new indicator underpin Japan’s and South Korea’s leadership of the industry connectivity category, and mainland China’s improvement in it.
Charles Ross, the editor of the report, said:
“It is encouraging that several Asian countries—and not just high-income ones—are making clear progress in creating a supportive environment for digital transformation. In their aggressive pursuit of technology deployment, however, governments must not lose sight of the importance of people and organisational change to the success of transformation.” 
The report is available.
Press enquiries:
Charles Ross, editorial director, Asia, Thought Leadership
+65 6534 5177
Notes to editors
The Asian Digital Transformation Index is a quantitative ranking of 11 Asian markets and three global comparators using 20 indicators across three categories relevant to business performance: digital infrastructure, human capital and industry connectivity. The categories, and the individual criteria within them, are weighted according to our assumptions of their relative importance in fostering digital transformation at organisations within countries.
About the Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. The Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information can be found at  or .
About Telstra
Telstra is a leading telecommunications and information services company. We offer a full range of services and compete in all telecommunications markets in Australia, operating the largest mobile and Wi-Fi networks. Globally, we provide end-to-end solutions including managed network services, global connectivity, cloud, voice, colocation, conferencing and satellite solutions. We have licenses in Asia, Europe and the United States and offer access to more than 2,000 points of presence across the globe. For more information visit  or .

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