The few countries in the world with advanced digital economies and skills, robust social safety nets, and previous experience were able to handle the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a report released on Thursday by the World Economic Forum (WEF) found.

In its Global Competitiveness report using data from 37 countries to forecast which ones would be best prepared for recovery and future economic transformation, the WEF found that while none of these countries were fully ready, some were better placed than others.

Among the various metrics that it examined, the report found that Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and the Netherlands were best prepared to shift to a greener economy.

“The transition to a greener and more inclusive economy must be underpinned by significant investments in infrastructure, including an expansion of digital networks,” it said.

Projecting that a 10% rise in readiness scores could lead to a $300 billion increase in the GDP figures of these 37 countries combined, it noted, however, that these priorities for transformation should be considered for their multiple effects on growth, inclusion and sustainability.

On progressive taxation — a key driver of economic transformation — South Korea, Japan, Australia, and South Africa scored highest in the report.

It also underlined that future-ready education, labor laws and income support should be better integrated to expand social protection.

Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and the UK are relatively better prepared than others to combine adequate labor protection with new safety net models.

According to the WEF, incentivizing, and expanding patient investments in research, innovation and invention can create new “markets of tomorrow” and drive growth.

In light of this, Finland, Japan, the US, South Korea and Sweden emerge as better-prepared to create such markets.

The report suggested that countries should expand their focus beyond a narrow return to growth as the global economy recovers from the pandemic’s economic fallout.

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