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Saudi among top 'most networked nations' in MENA

Kingdom rises eight spots to 40th rank in the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) this year.

Saudi Arabia has been recently ranked as one of the top four most networked economies in the MENA region, according to details revealed at a recent exhibition in the Kingdom.

According to the Saudi Gazette daily, the Kingdom improved by eight notches to 40th place in the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) this year, it was recently announced at the Gitex KSA 2009.

Saudi now joins the UAE (27th), Qatar (29th) and Bahrain (37th) as one of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) leaders in the MENA region, while moving well ahead of major players like China (46th) and India (54th).

The daily reported that of the nine pillars of the NRI, Saudi ranked highest in “Business Readiness” wherein the country placed 28th from a list of 134 countries covered by the Global Information Technology Report. The Kingdom scored well in the “Business Usage” parameter as well, standing at 39th place on the NRI.

According to the Global Information Technology report, the government's efforts have earned Saudi Arabia the 36th spot in “Government Readiness,” which covered areas such as government prioritisation of ICT, government procurement of advanced technology products and importance of ICT to government vision.

According to the daily, Saudi Arabia is considered as a high growth market. The Global Information Technology Report and the NRI, initiated by the World Economic Forum and INSEAD, showcase the firm correlation between ICT readiness and economic growth. The report also showcases success stories of countries in using ICT to enhance competitiveness and boost their development initiatives, the Saudi Gazette added.

The Kingdom's steady ICT advancement has also been confirmed by Madar Research’s 2007 Arab ICT Use Index, which measured the pace of ICT adoption in 18 Arab countries. Madar Research ranked Saudi fourth on its ICT Use Index, up from fifth place in the previous year, the newspaper said.

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