The 28 world economies most ready for the future

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REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

The world is changing at a rapid pace.

The last 150 years have seen the most remarkable advancement of technology in history. Electric lighting, cars, plastic, the telephone, and television are all less than 150 years old, while newer innovations such as the internet have spurred ever more rapid societal development.

In the coming decades, artificial intelligence, driverless cars, and the automation of many low skilled jobs are likely to further change the global economy.

But which nations around the world are most ready for that technological change?

Using the World Economic Forum’s recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey, Business Insider decided to take a look. The survey includes a whole section on the “Future orientation of government” which looks at various indicators of individual national governments’ preparedness.

Questions include:

  • How fast is the legal framework of your country in adapting to digital business models?
  • To what extent does the government ensure a stable policy environment for doing business?
  • To what extent does the government respond effectively to change?
  • To what extent does the government have a long-term vision in place?

Each category is given a score from one to seven, with seven being the highest reading. These are then collated into a single score.

Many of the nations to make the higher echelons of this list are oil rich Middle Eastern economies looking to diversify and modernise, including the likes of Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, while Northern European states also feature heavily.

Check out the countries most prepared for the world’s digitised economic future below:


T25. Kenya — 4.5

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T25. Tajikistan — 4.5


T25. Ireland — 4.5

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REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

T25. United Kingdom — 4.5

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REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

T22. Indonesia — 4.6

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T22. Malta — 4.6

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T22. Japan — 4.6

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REUTERS/Toby Melville

T19. India — 4.7

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REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

T19. Azerbaijan — 4.7

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David Ramos/Getty

T19. Denmark — 4.7

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T17. Norway — 4.8

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T17. Sweden — 4.8

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Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

16. Hong Kong — 4.9

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T13. New Zealand — 5.0

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T13. Netherlands — 5.0

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REUTERS/Michael Kooren

T13. Germany — 5.0

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Adam Berry/Getty Images

T11. Rwanda — 5.1

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Tony Campbell/Shutterstock

T11. Finland — 5.1

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

T9. Switzerland — 5.2

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T9. Malaysia — 5.2

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Garry Knight/Flickr

T6. Qatar — 5.3


T6. Oman — 5.3

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Chris Jackson/Getty

T6. Bahrain — 5.3

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REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

5. Saudi Arabia — 5.4

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Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters

4. United Arab Emirates — 5.6

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Samot/Shutterstock

T2. United States — 5.7

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Getty Images/John Moore

T2. Luxembourg — 5.7

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Will Martin/Business Insider

1. Singapore — 6.1

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Flickr Creative Commons / Brian Evans