In this section the performance of selected countries is briefly described. We look at the 10 best-performing countries in the NRI 2015 and the members of the G-20 that do not belong to the top 10 (Table 8). The Country/Economy Profiles section of this Report is a useful complement to the reading.
Table 8: Countries covered in this section
(click to navigate to description)
|Top 10||NRI Rank|
|Other G-20 Members|
A runner-up behind Sweden in 2012 and behind Finland in the past two editions, Singapore overtakes the latter to earn the NRI’s top spot this year. The city-state’s performance is one of the most consistent across the 10 categories of the Index: it tops three pillars (Business and innovation environment, Government usage, and Social impacts), features in the top 3 of another two, and ranks no lower than 30th (in the Affordability pillar) in the remaining five. The government is leading the ICT revolution with a clear digital strategy and one of the world’s best offerings in terms of online services and e-participation tools. It notably ranks 2nd, behind only the United Arab Emirates, in the indicator measuring the impact ICTs are having on government efficiency. Singapore offers the most conducive business and innovation environment worldwide and ranks 2nd for the quality of its regulatory framework. ICT readiness is outstanding thanks to Singapore’s highly skilled workforce (2nd, behind Finland) and infrastructure (19th). With such fertile ground, it is not surprising that ICTs are so widespread: Singapore boasts the highest penetration of mobile broadband subscriptions per capita in the world. Yet Internet uptake is surprisingly low: only three-quarters of the population use it on a regular basis—20 percentage points lower than leaders Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. This relatively low uptake does not prevent Singapore from generating substantial economic and social impacts through ICTs, however: it comes in 1st in the Impact subindex. In particular, some 53 percent of the population is employed in knowledge-intensive jobs, the second highest ratio after Luxembourg.
After two years at the top of the NRI rankings, Finland slips to 2nd place but remains a top performer in many aspects of networked readiness. The country boasts an excellent political and business environment and top-level infrastructure (5th). Finland ranks 1st in the Skills pillar: its education system is outstanding and its workforce highly skilled. This, coupled with affordable ICT access (9th) allows widespread use among the population (5th) and businesses (4th). Although it has not yet found ways to fully restructure its large ICT industry, Finland overtakes Japan as the country with the highest number of ICT PCT patents per capita. The government is also re-thinking a way to promote the ICT industry. In 2013, the ICT 2015 Working Group published its final report recommending new financing programs for startups and growing companies, a 10-year research and development program, and better and more systematic use of ICTs within public administration. These efforts are expected to stem the deterioration of Finland’s performance in government online service delivery (18th, down from 7th) and citizens’ e-participation (24th, down from 11th).
Contributing to the strong performance of the Nordics, Sweden maintains its 3rd position for the third edition in a row. The country presents a strong performance across the board. Its political and business environment remains one of the best in the world (13th) despite a slight decline. Sweden’s readiness is outstanding (4th) with excellent infrastructure (3rd), affordable ICT access (18th, and 3rd in the European Union), and a highly skilled population (28th). ICT usage is widespread among businesses (3rd) and the population at large (2nd). As of 2013, some 95 percent of individuals used the Internet. This allows ICTs to have a large impact on both the economy (2nd) and society (16th). Swedish companies are highly innovative in creating new products and services (6th) and are leaders in patenting ICT-related technology (2nd). Almost half of the Swedish workforce is employed in knowledge-intensive jobs (5th). ICTs also improve access to basic services (8th) and government efficiency (14th), although there is room for improvement in enhancing e-participation in decision-making processes (45th).
The Netherlands retains its 4th place in this edition. The country can rely on one of the soundest political and regulatory frameworks (7th) and one of the most conducive business and innovation environments (8th) in the world. Its well-developed infrastructure (14th) and highly skilled workforce (6th) allow for very high levels of ICT uptake. Affordability remains a weak spot (72nd), especially for mobile telephony (101st), with mobile and mobile broadband subscriptions remaining relatively low (69th and 28th, respectively). Individual usage of ICTs is otherwise widespread (7th): almost the entire population has access to a personal computer and a large proportion has access to a fixed broadband connection (3rd highest penetration rate in both indicators). ICTs are also fully leveraged by businesses: the Netherlands has some of the highest levels of business-to-business and business-to-consumer Internet usage (9th and 4th, respectively). The government remains a leader in granting access to government services online (8th) and allowing the population to e-participate (1st). Overall, ICTs have a significant impact on the Dutch economy: companies fully leverage them to create new products and services (5th), and the country has one the highest percentages of workers employed in knowledge-intensive jobs (9th).
Third among the Nordics, Norway retains its 5th position on the back of a remarkable and slightly improving performance: the country ranks in the top 10 of six NRI pillars and no lower than 27th in the other four. It notably boasts one of the best political and regulatory frameworks (6th) and an extremely conducive innovation and business environment (7th). Its infrastructure ranks best in the world (1st). Norwegians are avid users of ICTs (3rd in the Individual usage pillar): 95 percent of the population uses the Internet (2nd only to Iceland) and some 93 percent of households are equipped with a computer (5th). Fixed and mobile broadband access to the Internet is widespread (5th and 13th, respectively). The government has been quite successful in promoting ICTs (18th) and providing online services to companies and citizens (21st). Norway’s economy and society as a whole are positively affected by information technology: businesses are able to adopt new organizational models, thus increasing the adaptability of the work environment (3rd), and employ almost half of their workers in knowledge-intensive jobs (7th); ICTs also contribute to improving access to basic services (6th) and are widely used in the country’s education system to improve learning outcomes (3rd).
Switzerland ranks 6th overall, unchanged from last year despite a small improvement in its score. The country features in the top 10 of seven pillars—a record it shares with Finland and the Netherlands. Excellent institutions (9th), business-friendly regulations (10th), world-class infrastructure (10th), and highly educated labor force (3rd) provide fertile ground for widespread ICT adoption and impact. Switzerland ranks 1st in the business usage pillar of the NRI. Swiss companies—including in flagship industries such as machinery equipment, electronics, pharmaceuticals, watch manufacturing, and banking—are using ICTs to improve production processes, productivity, and quality, and to preserve their innovation edge and maintain their position at the top of the value chain. ICTs are also widespread among the population at large (10th). Notably, Switzerland possesses the highest number of fixed broadband Internet subscriptions per capita in the world. All these factors combine to create a virtuous cycle that makes Switzerland one of the world’s most prolific innovation powerhouses and a true knowledge-based economy. More than 50 percent of its population is employed in knowledge-intensive jobs (3rd, behind Luxembourg and Singapore). In stark contrast with these results, the government does not seem to be adopting ICTs as fervently (48th) as other actors. The mediocre quality of the government online services offering (64th) contributes to this unflattering performance, which places Switzerland in the bottom quarter among advanced economies.
The United States remains in 7th position, with a strong performance in most dimensions of the NRI. It ranks in the top 10 of four pillars, but room for improvement remains in many areas. It ranks a low 53rd in the Affordability pillar, particularly following the increase in the cost of fixed broadband Internet (71st). The United States must invest in its human capital and improve the general skillset of the population (33rd), especially in the area of math and science (51st). In contrast, ICT-related infrastructure remains among the best in the world (4th). ICT usage is high among all stakeholders: individuals (18th), businesses (7th), and government (14th). This translates into high impacts on both the economy (7th) and society (11th). Across industries and sectors, American companies leverage ICTs to create new businesses and opportunities. The United States remains one the best examples of a large, advanced economy making the right investments to fully leverage ICTs.
The United Kingdom (8th, up one) consolidates its position in the top 10, to which it has belonged since 2012. The country boasts one of the most conducive environments in the world for ICT development (4th). Top-level infrastructure (15th), good affordability (51st, up from 79th last year), and a high degree of preparedness among the population (31st) further contribute to this ecosystem. Individual usage has improved in recent years, and is now one of the most extensive in the world (4th). The United Kingdom displays some of the world’s highest penetration rates of fixed and mobile broadband Internet access (7th and 12th, respectively). UK companies also remain top users of ICTs, showing the way in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer use (3rd and 1st, respectively), and they exhibit an excellent capacity to innovate (10th). ICTs have a significant impact on the UK economy (13th), contributing to the creation of new organizational models, products, and services. Being at the forefront of networked readiness is particularly important for a service-based economy such as the United Kingdom’s, where almost half of the workforce is employed in knowledge-intensive jobs (6th). ICTs also have a large impact on the society at large, notably in terms of e-participation (4th).
Ranked 21st in 2012, Luxembourg continues on its impressive upward trend and enters the top 10 for the first time, at 9th place. The country benefits from a stable and efficient political and regulatory environment (3rd) with a well-developed ICT legislative framework (2nd). Venture capital availability (10th) and low tax rates (13th), among other factors, foster business development and innovation (27th). Luxembourg also possesses excellent infrastructure (18th). ICT usage is widespread among the population, business, and government alike, even though the country comes up short in terms of affordability (50th). A service-based economy, Luxembourg is greatly influenced by information technology. Almost 60 percent of the workforce is employed in knowledge-intensive jobs (1st), and ICTs largely foster the development of new services and products (7th) and new organizational models (17th). In recent years, the government has done a good job of developing a vision for ICTs (5th) and promoting its deployment (4th), helped by the public-private partnerships formed in the context of the Luxembourg ICT Cluster Initiative. However, there is room to improve government online services (42nd) and to facilitate citizens’ e-participation (54th).
Up eight places since 2012 and six in the past year alone, Japan takes the last spot in the top 10 of the NRI, owing to improvements—sometimes significant—in all pillars. The country now features in the top 10 of three pillars. Notably, Japan ranks 2nd, behind only Switzerland, in the Business usage pillar, thanks to the omnipresence of technology, which contributes to the formidable innovation capacity of Japanese businesses. Japan’s population is among the most avid users of ICTs in the world (13th). Almost nine in ten individuals use the Internet on a regular basis (12th). Nearly every mobile phone in Japan is a smartphone, and the number of mobile broadband subscriptions per capita is the third highest in the world. The government, too, is prompt at adopting ICTs for the benefits of its citizens (7th). Yet ICTs do not have the same disruptive effect on the economy as they do, for instance, in the Nordics, the United States, Israel, or the Republic of Korea. This might be partially the consequence of the hierarchical and patriarchal corporate culture that still prevails in large companies, the society’s relatively high aversion for risk, and an unfavorable regulatory regime, all of which hinder the generation of ideas, initiative-taking, and business creation. As a result, innovation in Japan’s largest companies is mostly incremental rather than disruptive, while the startup community remains largely underdeveloped.
Canada further improves its performance, climbing up six positions to 11th place this year. The country confirms its very strong political and business environment, notwithstanding its judicial system’s relatively slow pace in enforcing contracts (79th). The country also performs well in terms of readiness, with top-level infrastructure (6th) and a highly skilled workforce (9th). Usage remains a relatively weak spot, with mobile broadband penetration (45th) well below that of most advanced economies. Economic and social impacts further increased this year, with a surge of patent applications in ICT industries (13th) and larger overall impact of information technologies on new services and products (21st) and organizational models (12th). Canada also boasts one of the highest percentages of workers employed in knowledge-intensive jobs: 44 percent (ranked 14th worldwide). Finally, ICTs are increasingly used to improve access to basic services (14th) and enhance citizens’ participation in government decision-making (14th).
The performance of the Republic of Korea (12th) is virtually unchanged from last year, and the loss of two places should not be overstated. In fact, the country’s overall ranking has barely budged since 2012. The assessment of Korea’s networked readiness landscape is overwhelmingly positive. The country features in the top 10 of four pillars. The Korean population is among the most digitally connected (9th), and nearly 98 percent of households are equipped with Internet access (1st). Ultra-fast Internet is ubiquitous in Korea. The transformative effect of ICTs on society is significant (4th), notably thanks to the government’s leadership in adopting ICTs (3rd) and promoting e-participation (1st). In this context, the mediocre performance of Korea in the Political and regulatory environment pillar (42nd) stands out all the more. Another area of relative weakness is the middling quality of the education system (73rd), which is perceived as not fully meeting the needs of Korea’s economy.
Germany slides down one position to 13th but maintains its score. Its performance remains very strong, with an excellent Political and regulatory environment (13th) and top-level Infrastructure (13th). The country also boasts one of the highest levels of ICT uptake among businesses (5th) whose capacity for innovation is outstanding (4th). Usage among the population is widespread, too (17th), and the number of fixed broadband Internet subscriptions per capita is among the world’s highest (9th). In contrast, the uptake of 3G (or above) mobile telephony is surprisingly low (45 per 100 population, 50th)—almost three times less than in countries such as Japan and Finland. Nevertheless, ICTs generate significant economic impacts (9th), with a large share of workers employed in knowledge-intensive jobs (43 percent, 18th worldwide). The country has lost ground in terms of government usage and social impacts (31st), with government online services availability and citizens’ e-participation both decreasing significantly. The renewed government effort in mainstreaming ICTs outlined in the Digital Agenda 2014-2017 bill passed last year, the first-ever in Germany, could reverse the trend. The strategy exposes a number of measures to increase ICT penetration, growth and security, including investment in digital infrastructure, especially in rural areas.
Australia advances two places to reach 16th overall—its best rank so far. Even though it features in the top 10 of only one pillar (Infrastructure), the country ranks no lower than 28th in each of the ten pillars of the NRI. It obtains excellent marks in most of the readiness-related indicators, which translates into very high levels of ICT usage. Australia boasts the 4th highest penetration rate of mobile telephone subscriptions of the third generation or above, although ICT uptake by businesses is more limited (25th). Despite excellent grades in terms of online services offerings and e-participation tools, the government could do more to encourage the use of ICTs. The economy is largely dependent on commodity exports and is not particularly innovative. In order to develop this capacity for innovation, diversify the economy, and build resilience, the government and businesses should embrace ICTs even more enthusiastically.
France drops one spot to 26th, despite improving its score. Its performance is remarkably consistent and strong, but not outstanding: the country ranks between 14th (in the Skills pillar) and 25th in eight of the ten pillars. It places much lower when it comes to the quality of the business and innovation environment (45th). Because of market rigidities and some resistance, France has not yet become an innovation-based economy the way Switzerland, Germany, and the Nordics have, despite widespread use of ICTs and a strong push by the government, which has recently put in place incentives to accelerate this transition. France’s government is one of the most e-ready in the world: the United Nations ranks it 1st for the quality of its online services offerings and 4th in the E-Participation Index, which assesses the availability of online information and participatory tools and services to citizens.
Saudi Arabia (35th, down three spots) drops for the second consecutive edition, but the country remains one of the leaders in the MENAP region, not too far from the other Gulf Cooperation Council members: the UAE (23rd), Qatar (27th), and Bahrain (30th). The drop has been driven mostly by increasing ICT costs (122nd), although recent improvements in Internet and telephony market competition in the country could reverse this trend. Tariffs are particularly high for fixed broadband (124th), helping to explain the low subscription rate (7.4 per 100 people, 74th), which is partly offset by the very high penetration of newer-generation mobile telephony (14th). Business usage has stalled over the last year, leading Saudi Arabia to slide eight positions in this pillar (42nd) while other economies have improved their performance. Similarly, the impact of ICTs on the economy increased in Saudi Arabia, but this increase was less than occurred in other countries, pushing down Saudi Arabia by four notches to arrive at 41st place. The share of knowledge-intensive jobs in the country’s total workforce remains low (27 percent, 54th). ICTs should be leveraged more to accelerate the transition of the economy toward high-value-added activities. The Saudi government shows the way when it comes to promoting and adopting ICTs (8th in the Government usage pillar), earning excellent marks for its online services (18th). However, ICTs have not yet generated significant social impact, a lack that is especially notable in improving the education system (63rd) and facilitating e-participation (51st).
The Russian Federation climbs nine positions to 41st, as a result of an improvement in most of the pillars. The country further improved the skillset of its workforce, moving up 12 positions to achieve 52nd place. In general, ICTs are affordable (15th), even though ICT services have not been fully liberalized yet. Individual uptake is good and rapidly increasing: in the last year, Russia has significantly improved its performance across all dimensions of the Usage subindex (39, up 14). In particular, business usage has improved markedly but remains limited (66th, up 18). So is the capacity of business to innovate, as reflected in the low number of per capita patent applications (43rd, one of the lowest among high income economies). The country’s capacity to leverage ICTs and its competitiveness in general continue to be seriously undermined by many institutional weaknesses, however. Russia ranks 79th in the Political and regulatory environment pillar of the NRI, owing to the lack of independence (109th) and inefficiency of its judicial system, and to the poor protection of intellectual property (106th), among other issues.
Up three positions, Turkey ranks 48th overall in this edition. The change is largely driven by increased government usage (55th) and social impacts (50th). In recent years, the government has improved its offering of online services (53rd) and facilitated people’s e-participation in decision-making processes (64th), although significant room for improvement remains in both areas. The country performs very strongly in terms of affordability of ICTs (8th), also thanks to competitive and liberalized ICT service markets. However, ICTs have not yet fully entered the life of the population. Turkey ranks 67th in terms of Individual usage, the second-worst performance within the emerging and developing Europe region. For the economy and society to fully leverage the potential of ICTs, Turkey needs particularly to invest in improving the skillset of its population. It places 80th in this category, its worst showing among the 10 pillars of the NRI.
Italy climbs three spots to attain 55th position. The country’s political and regulatory framework remains its weakest spot (102nd), with a very inefficient judicial system (142nd), which requires on average more than a thousand days to enforce a contract (131st). Italy’s innovation environment is also hindered by low venture capital availability (127th), the result of the shortage of private capital for investment. Business lacks the support of public investment in advanced technologies (129th) and is penalized by a very high level of taxation (131st). Italy’s performance in terms of skills (37th) and affordability (36th) is similar to that of other high-income countries. Business usage (60th) is below that of most advanced economies, and only 35 percent of the workforce is employed in knowledge-intensive jobs. The government has made huge improvements in delivering online services (23rd) and allowing citizens’ e-participation (19th). However, it is still unable to adequately promote ICTs (139th). The government agency formed in 2012 to implement the national digital agenda has largely failed to deliver on its promises. The country’s lag is considerable when it comes to ultra-broadband and next-generation access (NGA) technologies. The new government strategy, passed in March 2015, aims to bridge this gap through 6 billion euros worth of public investments and an equal amount of private funds.
Since 2012, despite improving its score, China (62nd) has dropped 11 places in the overall rankings because other countries have improved faster than it has. As China grows, the capacity of all stakeholders across the country to embrace technology will determine its ability to accelerate its transition from a middle-income country to a high-income country. China is becoming more innovative. Patent applications—an imperfect measure of innovation capacity—have shot up since 2000. Countless corporations have gone from being mere manufacturers to being inventors and commercializing their own product under their own name. Academic standing has also improved dramatically. But for ICTs to have a truly transformative impact on Chinese society and economy, they have to permeate the entire society, including rural areas. Tertiary education should become more widespread—not just reserved for the elite. And despite a handful of corporate success stories, the culture of entrepreneurship and startups has yet to take root in a country where state-owned enterprises still dominate many segments of the economy. A more conducive business environment would help a great deal—China currently ranks a mediocre 104th. At least the government recognizes the critical role of ICTs and innovation in sustaining the growth momentum. This commitment is reflected China’s 39th rank in the Government usage pillar—its best pillar performance.
Mexico ranks 69th, up from 79th. This improvement is largely attributable to a revision of the mobile telephony tariff data, which causes the country to leapfrog 89 places in the Affordability pillar. Mexico now ranks 4th in this category, which includes mobile and broadband tariff measures, both based on 2013 data. The challenges in the other areas remain considerable. Mexico ranks no better than 56th in the other nine out of ten pillars, and lies beyond the 50th mark in 43 of the 53 individual indicators composing the NRI. The poor quality of both the country’s business and innovation environment (87th) and its overall regulatory framework (70th) is especially problematic. The level of taxation (117th) and the shortcomings of its legislative process and judiciary system contribute to this situation. The country’s capacity to leverage ICTs is further limited by the level of education of the population, which translated to an unflattering 92nd rank in the Skills pillar, Mexico’s worst showing among the 10 pillars. ICT uptake among businesses (72nd) and the population at large (87th) remains very low, not only in global comparison but even within the region, which is known for its low level of ICT adoption. There are few signs that ICTs are having any significant impacts on economy (72nd) or society (76th), as reflected in the weak innovation capacity of Mexican business (72nd) and the small share of the country’s workforce employed in knowledge-intensive activities.
Despite a score unchanged from last year, South Africa loses five positions to settle at 75th place in this edition. The country’s overall political and business environment remains one of its strengths (31st). In contrast, the general state of ICT readiness remains very low (102nd), the result of the poor quality of ICT-related infrastructure (85th), notably the limited international Internet bandwidth (128th).23 The cost of ICTs in South Africa is also a drag (107th). Nonetheless, individual usage has further increased with a 10-place jump to reach 68th. However, government still lags behind (105th), earning very low marks in terms of online services provided to the population (82nd). Overall, the potential of ICTs has not been fully unlocked. Their social impacts have not yet materialized, and they have not significantly improved access to basic services (101st) or facilitated citizens’ e-participation (88th).
Asia’s third and the G-20’s fourth most populous country, Indonesia ranks 79th in the NRI.24 Although there is ample room for improvement in every section of the NRI, Indonesia’s performance is relatively consistent and encouraging in many respects. The country ranks a remarkable 35th worldwide in the Business usage pillar, up 14 places since 2012—an indication that more and more Indonesian businesses are adopting ICTs to improve their operations and expand their activities. The government, in contrast, is not as quick at embracing ICTs and promoting e-government. Despite its commitment and a number of ICT initiatives, effects are long overdue. Among the population at large, mobile telephony has become ubiquitous. By ITU estimates, the entire population is within range of a mobile network of second generation or better. Indeed, Indonesia boasts one of the highest mobile subscription rates (125 per 100 population, 49th) among emerging and developing Asian nations, not far from leading Malaysia (145 per 100 population) and Thailand (140 per 100 population). And when it comes to mobile broadband subscriptions—the condition for accessing the Internet—Indonesia is second only to Thailand in the region. Yet Internet use remains scant: only 16 percent of the population are connected.
Down 15 places, Brazil (84th) posts one of the largest declines of this edition, dropping by 10 places or more in six of the ten NRI pillars. Since the 2012 edition, the country has slumped 19 places, and it does not appear in the top 50 of a single pillar. Its performance is particularly dismal in the Political and regulatory environment and Business and innovation environment pillars, where it ranks 95th and 121st, respectively (although it improves by 14 places in the latter category). The country’s level of taxation (137th), the extent of its red tape—Brazil notably ranks 137th for the time required to start a business—and delays of its judicial system are among the many institutional weaknesses that explain this situation. The lack of preparedness (108th) of the population, measured by the general level of education, acts as another drag on the country’s capacity to leverage ICTs more fully. The use of ICTs among the population has been improving, but not as quickly as in other countries, causing Brazil to slip down the ranking to 62nd in this dimension. Furthermore, the government has failed to make ICTs a core driver of its development strategy (106th). Consequently, the economic and social benefits from ICTs remain very limited (76th and 73rd, respectively).
At 89th, India is the lowest-ranked of the BRICS. Since 2012, the country has failed to improve its score and lost almost 20 places. Despite many clusters of excellence and its knack for frugal innovation, India is not leveraging ICTs for the benefits of its entire population. The country places in the bottom half of the rankings of seven NRI pillars, and beyond the 100th mark in four. Uptake of ICTs in India is among the lowest in the world. When accounting for multiple SIM-card ownership, approximately one-third of the population owns a mobile phone. Smartphones are the privilege of the very few, with 3 mobile broadband subscriptions for every 100 population. Only 15 percent of the population uses the Internet. By international standards, technology adoption by businesses remains limited, as it does within the government. Despite its successes and international visibility and recognition, the vibrant IT and business process management industry accounts for only 0.6 percent of all jobs.25 The need for India to embrace technology to power its economy is arguably less pressing than it is for the other, richer BRICS economies, given its stage of development. Yet ICTs could do wonders in improving productivity in agriculture and the services sector, while boosting access to some basic services among the rural population. Furthermore, ICTs could help fulfill India’s ambition to become a global manufacturing hub. A most encouraging result amid India’s mediocre performance is the country’s 1st position in the Affordability pillar, as a result of the fierce competition within the vibrant telecommunications sector.
Argentina moves up nine positions to reach 91st place in this edition, its best performance since 2012. The assessment of the country’s ICT-related infrastructure (79th) significantly benefits from its increase in international Internet bandwidth capacity, which doubled in 2013 thanks to a new submarine cable connecting Argentina with Uruguay and Brazil. Individual usage also improves (54th) and remains a relative strength of the country, in terms of mobile subscriptions (12th), Internet use (53rd), and fixed broadband subscriptions (49th). Yet the challenges Argentina faces are many and significant. The country’s performance is considerably hampered by its dismal political and regulatory framework (128th) and its business and innovation environment (118th). In particular, Argentina’s judicial system performs badly both in terms of independence (126th) and efficiency (142nd out of 143 when it comes to challenging government regulations). Intellectual property protection is poor (135th) and venture capital scarce (137th). The quality of its business environment is further hindered by the highest total tax rate in the world—equivalent to 137 percent of profits—weak local competition, and numerous barriers to business creation. The government’s lack of leadership when it comes to ICTs is also particularly worrisome (115th).