The Digital Evolution of Emerging Markets

MasterCard Global Insights and the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with EMPEA’s support, recently released the 2013 Digital Evolution Index (DEI) to analyze the challenges and opportunities of the digital future for 50 countries, as well as their readiness for digital growth. The rating of each country was evaluated based on 83 indicators grouped into four drivers.

The Four Drivers, 12 Components and Sample Indicators Source: Digital Planet: Readying for the Rise of the e-Consumer. 

EMPEA played a vital role in calculating the fourth driver—innovation and change—for the 28 emerging market countries featured in the DEI, serving as a data partner and providing the private equity investment statistics as a proxy to measure ecosystem attractiveness and competitive landscape. Singapore ranked the highest in the index, which saw only three emerging markets crack the top 20. However, in the ranking of countries based on their change in total score since 2008, emerging markets accounted for 17 of the top 20, signifying their statuses as rapidly advancing economies.


DEI Rankings by Country

Source: 2013 Digital Evolution Index. Emerging markets are shaded.

EM countries dominated the “Break out” and “Watch out” categories in the DEI. The “Break out” classification—which consisted solely of EM countries, including Malaysia, Chile, China, Brazil, Vietnam and South Africa—grouped together countries that are rapidly evolving, have the potential to develop strong digital economies and are well poised to break into the group of countries that have shown high levels of digital development (i.e. “Stand out”). EM countries, including Indonesia, Russia, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya, also comprised the majority of “Watch out” markets, identified as facing both significant opportunities and challenges, notably institutional uncertainty and a low commitment to reform, though their demographics make them attractive to investors.

Access the DEI interactive index for additional analysis on the 50 countries and their evolution and various breakdowns by driver, or download the full report for data-informed insights for businesses, investors and policymakers in these markets.