Page content

A look back at our partner countries

Smart Cities - Smart Regions - Smart Countries

Every year, the Smart Country Convention focuses on a particular country, as digitization does not stop at national borders. Looking beyond the horizon is worthwhile – to gain knowledge, network and exchange views. In recent years Denmark, Lithuania, Austria and Ukraine, all pioneers, have shown how digitizing local government and developing smart cities and regions can succeed.

Partner Country 2023: Ukraine

Ukraine was the partner country of the Smart Country Convention 2023 and, among other things, had its own exhibition stand to show how digital administration can be maintained and even expanded even in times of crisis. Cybersecurity was also a key topic at the event.

Maria Shevchuk

„Ukraine aims to be one of the most digital nations in the world, with 100% of its public services digitised. And even now, with the outbreak of full-scale war, Ukraine continues to build a digital state. Even under constant cyber attack from Russia, new online services are launched almost every week. At the same time, Ukraine's IT sector remains vibrant and a backbone of our economy.

Smart Country Convention was therefore the ideal opportunity to share our knowledge on the digitization of the public sector with our European allies and also a great chance for our companies to enter the German market.“

Maria Shevchuk, Acting Executive Director at IT Ukraine Association

Please find further information about IT Ukraine Association here:
IT Ukraine Association

Digitalization in Ukraine

Ukraine is now a globally recognized technical center where complex IT solutions are developed and globally recognized IT products are manufactured. The Ukrainian IT sector has quickly become the country's second largest export industry, and its products and companies have made a defining impression on the global stage.

Digitalization is a fundamental national concept in Ukraine. In a groundbreaking move, Ukraine was the first nation in the world to make electronic passports equal to traditional paper passports. In addition, the Ukrainian mobile application "Diia" has captured the hearts of citizens by providing seamless online access to government services. As of May 2023, "Diia" is installed on 70% of Ukrainian smartphones and has an impressive user base of 19 million people. Estonia was the first country to launch a version of Ukrainian "Diia" earlier this year.

Cybersecurity and digital quality of life

Ukraine also stands out in the field of cybersecurity, ranking 24th in the world in the Cybersecurity 2022 indicator, surpassing countries such as Canada, Luxembourg and South Korea. In addition, Ukraine ranks a proud 46th among 110 countries in the Digital Quality of Life (DQL) 2023 index, establishing itself as a leader in the digital sphere. The country is also a pioneer in contactless payment with gadgets and is among the top five countries worldwide.

Before the Russian war of aggression, the Ukrainian IT sector was one of the largest exporters of IT services in Europe, growing by 25-30% annually.

The share of computer services in Ukraine's GDP is almost 5%. The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine aims to reach 10% of GDP by 2030. IT now accounts for almost half of Ukraine's services exports, and the share of digital areas in services is steadily increasing. The development of the IT industry in Ukraine will continue under all conditions. In 2022, the IT industry brought export revenues of $7.3 billion to the Ukrainian economy and could even grow by almost 6% compared to the pre-war year. Currently, there are more than 2,000 IT companies registered in Ukraine, employing about 362,000 IT professionals.

Partner Country 2022: Austria

As a pioneer in eGovernment and smart city affairs, Austria was the official partner country of the Smart Country Convention 2022. The country presented innovative digital applications for local government, public sector companies and has shown how the digital transformation of cities, municipalities and districts can succeed.

“My policy is to simplify local government through digitalisation and eGovernment. In doing so I feel it is important to enthuse people, to bring them on board and to ensure local government is on the same page as citizens. By 2024 it should be possible for almost all dealings with public authorities to also take place online. One of the key components in establishing and expanding eGovernment services is the requirement for a positive identification of individuals in order to give them access to specific services. In that context ID-Austria was an important milestone. We are now working on digital forms of ID, in particular digital driving licences. It is essential for us in Austria to be leaders in digitalisation.“

Florian Tursky, State Secretary for Digitalisation and Telecommunications

Please find further information about Advantage Austria here:
Advantage Austria

Digitalisation in Austria

Digitalisation will not take place of its own accord. In order for an intelligent, strategically organised transformation to produce long-term successful growth a clear plan is needed. Austria has achieved this with the Digital Action Plan Austria of the Federal Ministry of Finances. This has been put together with broad-based expert and stakeholder input, is regularly expanded and rigorously implemented, in order to ensure that Austria can exploit its data to the full and enjoy crisis-proof and sustainable growth.

What is important is that digitalisation leaves no one behind. The Digital Action Plan Austria means creating positive change even after the pandemic, for society, business and local government. It means generating new growth, new employment and new opportunities for everyone in Austria.

Florian Tursky, Austria’s State Secretary for Digitalisation and Telecommunications at the Federal Ministry of Finances, personally represented the partner country Austria at the Smart Country Convention.

Partner Country 2019: Lithuania

Going to the authorities online and setting up a business in three days - that works in Lithuania. As one of the pioneers of digitisation, Lithuania was 2019 the official partner country of the Smart Country Convention. From 22 to 24 October 2019, the country showed innovative digital applications for administrations, public companies and the digitisation of cities, municipalities and rural districts in the CityCube Berlin.

S.E. Botrschafter der Republik Litauen Darius Jonas Semaška

Please find further information about Digital LIThuania here:

"We want to share our experience about public sector, cybersecurity and smart cities with Germany, our main economic partner. For this reason, Lithuania has become a partner of the Smart Country Convention."

Darius Jonas Semaška, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the Federal Republic of Germany

Partner Country 2018: Denmark

Be it digitally connected citizens’ service centres, electronic medical reports, internet tax declarations or gigabit networks, Denmark has become a pioneer in many areas of digitalisation. The EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) puts Denmark top of the list of 28 EU countries. At the Smart Country Convention 2018 this Scandinavian nation was the official partner country of the fair, and at the CityCube Berlin showcased innovative digital applications for administrations, public enterprises and for authorities at town, municipal and county level.

Friis Arne Petersen

"Everyone needs to play a part in digitization. Digitization stopped being a choice long ago.

In Denmark, digitization has created growth, wealth and welfare among citizens and freed up resources in the public sector that can be allocated to other core societal areas, such as Health, Education or Welfare. This is the reason that we are honoured to be official partner country at the Smart Country Convention.

We look forward to meeting you at the Smart Country Convention and to sharing our experiences and digital solutions."

Friis Arne Petersen, Danish Ambassador to Germany


You have any questions? We will be happy to assist you!
T +49 30 3038 2300


Subscribe to our newsletter.
We will keep you up to date with developments of the Smart Country Convention.