Malta ranks 5th in DESI Index 2020

Publication Date: Jun 15, 2020
Malta ranks 5th in DESI Index 2020
Malta ranks 5th out of the 28 EU Member States in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020. Based on data prior to the pandemic, the country performs above the EU average in all the five dimensions of the index. Malta performs well on broadband connectivity. The country records good scores on human capital, especially because of the high share of ICT specialists and ICT graduates, while also the involvement of women in the digital sector is gradually increasing. More and more people in Malta use the internet (with a percentage of internet users now in line with the EU average) and engage in a number of activities (scoring very high when it comes to selling online). Maltese businesses rank first on the use of big data, and the overall level of business digitisation is relatively high. The country’s performance in digital public services continues to be negatively affected by the low use of e-government services by the general public. Low progress on open data policies is another reason for Malta falling behind other EU Member States. 

Malta has continued to emphasise the role of digital policies as key to shaping its competitiveness. The National Digital Strategy 2014-2020 is the general framework guiding government action in the digital field. Malta also launched a blockchain strategy and regulatory framework in 2018, and several new strategies in 2019: (i) a national strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI); (ii) a comprehensive ‘National eSkills Strategy’; and (iii) ‘Mapping Tomorrow’, a new strategic plan for the digital transformation of the public administration. 

The implementation of these strategies continued and built on various initiatives started in previous years on digitisation of business, digital skills and improvement of e-government services and m-services. 

Another 2019 achievement is related to cybersecurity, where a new scheme was introduced to help businesses strengthen their capacity against cyber-attacks. Finally, a National Data Portal enabling access to government data in a number of fields has been launched.