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U.S. Tops Network Readiness Index

The United States has regained the lead in exploiting information and communication technology, overtaking Singapore, said a study released Tuesday.

It is the third time in five years that the United States has topped the rankings in the so-called "networked readiness index," which is based on factors including quality of math and science education and low telephone and Internet pricing, said the report released by the World Economic Forum.

"The long pipeline of scientific and technological innovation is a remarkable source of strength for the U.S. economy which, large macroeconomic imbalances notwithstanding, remains a choice destination for foreign capital," said Augusto Lopez-Claros of the Geneva-based forum, who co-edited the report.

The U.S. performance was also helped by extensive cooperation between research bodies and business and the ready availability of venture capital, added Soumitra Dutta of the French-based international business school INSEAD, another coeditor.

Singapore, which headed the rankings in 2005, performed well despite dropping back to second place, largely because of its excellent regulatory environment and world-class levels of education and training, the report said. It is Singapore's fourth successive year in the top three.

Nordic countries maintained their positions near the top of the rankings, with Denmark in third place, followed by Iceland and Finland. Sweden was 8th.

The Nordic countries' performance was boosted by the excellence of their universities, a friendly environment for new business ventures and a predisposition to adopting the latest technologies, the report said.

Rounding out the top 10 were Canada, Taiwan, Switzerland and Britain. The report covered 115 economies.

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