Still, Croatia is one of the fastest developing nations.
According to Digital Economy and Society Index, Croatia is lagging behind the average of the European Union, but last year it was among the group of countries that are progressing the fastest and is rapidly approaching the European average, announced the European Commission in its report published on Friday, March 3, 2017.
The European Commission announced the results of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). It is a tool which measures the results of the 28 EU member states in a number of areas, from connectivity and digital skills to digitization of businesses and public services.
In the latest DESI, Croatia had 0.42 points which ranked it at the 24th position among 28 EU member states. Compared to 2015, when it had 0.37 points, Croatia moved up one position. For the European Union as a whole, DESI last year stood at 0.52, while the year earlier was at 0.50.
About 19 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises in Croatia deal with internet sales, which is higher than the EU average of 16 percent. About 9 percent of Croatian companies engage in cross-border online sales, compared to the EU average of 7.5 percent.
However, Croatia still lags behind in the area of using the internet, since just 66 percent of Croatians regularly use the internet, compared to the EU average of 76 percent. Only 2.8 percent of fixed internet subscriptions have a fast connection, which is the least in all member states. The average in the EU is 30 percent. Fast internet of at least 30 Mbps is available to only 52 percent of households. One of the reasons for this is probably the high price. In Croatia, subscription to broadband internet costs 2.5 percent of the average salary, while the European average is 1.3 percent.
“Croatia belongs to the group of countries which are progressing, but it still lags behind the EU as a whole. However, last year it experienced rapid progress and got closer to the EU average”, said the European Commission in a statement.
The EU as a whole has made progress in the field of digital development, but the progress is uneven and insufficiently fast. The difference between the digitally most developed and least developed member states is 37 percentage points, compared to 36 percentage points in 2014. The most successful countries with regard to the DESI this year are Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, followed by Luxembourg, Belgium, United Kingdom, Ireland, Estonia and Austria.
The three best performing EU member states in the field of digital development are leaders at the global level we well. They are followed by South Korea, Japan and the United States. Among the EU countries, the greatest progress has been achieved by Slovakia and Slovenia.