The State of the Digital Region Report 2016 has gained media attention around the Baltic Sea Countries.
Jan Tore Sanner, Minister of local government and modernisation, states that Norway has a strong foundation to build on. He suggests that the country draws on this in order to boost regional collaboration, growth and competitiveness in order to gain global competitiveness. Kristine Breitland, Microsoft Norway, confirms that Norway has been successful in their digitization efforts, and credits the fact that both the public authorities and the private sector have moved much of their services online.
Read reporting from Norway (in Norwegian):
In Poland, the news reporting points out that the country, along with Latvia and Lithuania, is still lagging behind other Baltic Sea countries in key categories and does not take full advantage of the potential of digitization. The problem seems to stem from the slow pace of digital development and limited access to modern technologies.
However, there are positive developments, manifested in numerous governmental and private initiatives in this field. Also Poland has a large potential that is not yet fully realised, for example in ICT knowledge. The actual impact and contribution that Poland can bring to a larger digital market will be very important, according to comments from Piotr Marczuk, Microsoft Poland and Torben Aaberg, BDF.
Read reporting from Norway (in Polish):
According to the State of the Digital Region Report 2016, Estonia continues to show strong development and position itself as the fastest mover in the region. Estonia is converging or levelling with the Nordics in several categories of the digital economy and is also leading on e-government development.
These observations are especially welcomed by Urve Palo, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, although she also points at the lack of ICT professionals as the main challenge for the country. Also Anneli Heinsoo, Chair of the Board of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL) is happy with the position of Estonia but she emphasizes the transition from e-state to e-industry as Estonian’s next big challenge.