Australia has slipped one position in a global ranking on digital competitiveness while it's Asia Pacific neighbours are making big gains.
The IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking shows Australia has dropped one place to 14th, Hong Kong and South Korea have entered the top 10 and Taiwan and China moved up to 13th and 22nd from 16th and 30th.
The Committee for Economic Development of Australia's chief executive officer Melinda Cilento said Australia must do more if it is to keep pace with other economies.
"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," Ms Cilento said.
"These are the drivers of future competitiveness and opportunity."
Out of the 63 nations surveyed Australia ranked 44th on digital/technological skills and employee training, 53rd on graduates in sciences, 45th for agility in companies and 54th for communications technology.
Overall the top five digital leaders remained unchanged from last year with the United States at number one, followed by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Though there were some areas where Australia had strong rankings including flow of international students and country credit rating, both at number one.
Australia also ranked third in tablet possession and second in having an internet efficient "e-government".
A recent CEDA poll of 3000 people in Australia found businesses rate the importance of research and development along with investment in new technologies much higher than the general public.
"Investment in new technology is fundamentally important to Australia's future competitiveness and prosperity. But it's not something that's really resonating in the wider community," Ms Cilento said.
"We think that there really needs to be a national conversation on the important role of new technologies and research and development, and also the skills that are going to be needed now and into the future."
Australian Associated Press
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