The UK has slipped down the “e-readiness” readiness scale according to new ranking produced today by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The rankings, which measure each country’s e-business environment, looking at a collection of factors that indicate how amenable the market is to internet-based opportunities shows the UK has fallen from fifth last year down to seventh this year.

The e-readiness table shows that Denmark has retained its top spot in 2007, with the US and Sweden in joint second place.

Hong Kong (fourth), Singapore (sixth), South Korea (16th), Taiwan (17th) and Japan (18th) have all risen up the rankings this year. But the league table shows stability among the top ranked countries, with nine of last year’s top 10 remaining in that bracket.

The EIU said it had adjusted the methodology used to produce the rankings this year to reflect a more complex e-business environment. For example, internet connections must not only be available, but should be fast, secure and affordable, while delivering services through electronic channels offered an indicator of policy success.

The change in methodology, along with underlying improvements in individual countries, had led to changes in the league table, the organisation said.

The e-readiness top 10
1 Denmark
4 Hong Kong
5 Switzerland
6 Singapore
7 UK
8 Netherlands
9 Australia
10 Finland