SYDNEY, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Australia is falling behind the rest of the Asia Pacific region when it comes to business agility, tech skills and communications infrastructure, Chief Executive of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) Melinda Cilento said on Friday.
Slipping one spot to 14th in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness rankings released on Friday, the business leader said the results show Australia has a lot more work to do if it is to keep pace with other economies in the region.
"While the Australian community has an appetite for new technology with a high uptake of smartphones and tablets, ranking 9th and 3rd respectively, we don't rank well in terms of higher technical skills," Cilento said.
"Australia ranked 44 on digital/technological skills and employee training, and 53 on graduates in sciences," Cilento said.
"We also need to be aware that economies in our region are making big gains in digital competitiveness," she added.
Judged in the categories of knowledge, technology and future readiness - in comparison to Australia - China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ranked 8th, South Korea came in at 10th, and China jumped from 30th on the list last year, to reach 22nd in 2019.
"The results highlight that we(Australia)need a broader national community discussion around the importance of research and development, investment in technology, tech skills and how the benefits of these flow back to the community," Cilento said.
"Our Asia Pacific neighbours are making serious investments into skills and technology infrastructure, both areas where we have dropped off in key areas, and we need to ensure we keep pace. These are the drivers of future competitiveness and opportunity," she said.
At the top of the rankings, the United States held onto top spot, Singapore came in at 2nd, Sweden placed 3rd, Denmark were 4th and Switzerland claimed 5th.