However, the high position hides its struggles in adapting digital technology for two out of the five chapters studied in the report.
Digital technology integration by SMEs
Luxembourg remained below the EU average, at position 22, for its integration of digital technology by companies, largely, because of slow adoption by SMEs. It performed well for electronic information sharing (41% compared to the EU average of 34%), radio frequency identification (6.1% compared to 4.2%) and use of social networks (20% compared to 21%). However, it performed below average in ecommerce for SMEs (7.8% compared with 17.2% ) and SME cross-border ecommerce (7.7% compared to 8.4%).
The report referred to the Letzshop initiative, launched in 2017, providing a digital window for SME traders to ply their wares online and which has yet to become a household name in Luxembourg.
In a public statement published on Friday, the government said: “Programs such as Luxinnovation's Fit 4 Digital, or Go Digital recently launched by the House of Entrepreneurship, aim to encourage and support Luxembourg SMEs in this challenge.”
Digital public services
Luxembourg progressed three places to position 17 for digital public services, largely thanks to a substantial jump in open data, which saw Luxembourg jump from 57% to 85% from 2016 to 2017. However, it lagged behind the EU average for submitting online forms to public authorities (49% compared to 58%), prefilled data online forms (50% compared to 53%) and online registration of life events (80% compared to 84%).
Within the other three chapters, Luxembourg ranked second for connectivity, for coverage and take up, fifth for human capital, especially in the use of digital skills, and fourth for internet use by residents.
The government concluded: “In order to seize all the opportunities presented by digitalisation, it is a question of continuing the positive dynamic and the efforts made to prepare the country for this acceleration and to support the digital transformation at all levels.”