Qatar Rises to 23rd Most Networked Nation in the World
The World Economic Forum released “The Global Information and Technology Report 2013 (GITR)” on April 10, 2013, in which Qatar rose five places to rank as the 23rd most networked nation in the world out of 144 countries. Qatar is now the most networked country in the Arab World, followed by the United Arab Emirates (25) and Bahrain (29).
The comprehensive report examines the networked readiness of countries across four primary indexes: environment, readiness, usage and impact. Qatar ranked highly in terms of environment (14) and usage (16), with particular areas of high of performance including local skills, business innovation, political and regulatory frameworks, government usage and the social impact of technology.
The report specifically lauds Qatar for “the government’s sharp effort to expand its offerings of online services and increase in the online participation of citizens.” The report also highlights the explosive growth of mobile broadband subscriptions and overall penetration of ICTs. The report also highlights “the government’s strong vision and its commitment to rapidly develop ICTs as a means to diversify its economy, along with its efforts to create a business-friendly environment to spur entrepreneurship.” The primary areas for continued advancement by Qatar highlighted in the report include broadband affordability and increased university enrollment to build a broader local talent base.
Overall, the GITR shows a lack of global progress in bridging the digital divide and found that most developing economies are failing to close the gap with advanced economies in terms of ICT-related competitiveness. Finland, Singapore and Sweden top the 2013 global rankings.
When releasing the report, Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director, e-Lab, INSEAD and co-editor of the report said: “This analysis shows how matching investments in ICT with investment in skills and innovation can help economies cross a ‘magic threshold’, beyond which return on investment increases significantly. Individual countries need to identify what separates them from reaching that threshold if they have not reached it yet in order to fulfill long-term growth, competitiveness and innovation targets.”
The Global Information Technology Report is the result of a long-standing partnership between the World Economic Forum and INSEAD. The Networked Readiness Index uses a combination of data from publicly available sources and the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the Forum in collaboration with Partner institutes, a network of 167 leading research institutes and business organizations. This Survey of more than 15,000 executives provides insight into areas critical for networked readiness.
The full GITR 2013 can be viewed on the World Economic Forum’s website.