UAE ranked No. 1 for ICT readiness in Middle East
Insead and World Economic Forum rank countries in new Global Information Technology Report
The United Arab Emirates has been named the most 'networked' country regionally in a new study by global business school Insead that examines the link between ICT readiness and economic growth.
Global Information Technology Report for 2009/2010, jointly published by the World Economic Forum, uses a Networked Readiness Index (NRI) to find how prepared countries around the world are to use ICT effectively in three areas: general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of key stakeholder groups to use and benefit from ICT; and the actual usage of the latest information and communication technologies available.
The key is to find out how ICT acts "as an enabler of a more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable world in the aftermath of the most serious economic crisis in decades", the study states.
Out of the 133 countries analysed, Sweden ranked first, followed by Singapore and Denmark. Regionally, the UAE ranked first (23 globally), followed by Bahrain (29) and Qatar (30).
The UAE has been climbing progressively higher with each edition of Insead's report - In 2008/2009 the country was ranked 27 globally and the year before it was placed at 29.
Every Middle Eastern country however, aside from Kuwait (76) and Syria (105), appears in the top half of the NRI rankings - Bahrain is at 29, Qatar 30, Saudi Arabia 38, Jordan 44 and Oman at 50.
"UAE, Bahrain and Qatar's superior capacity to leverage ICT as an enabler of sustainable, long-term economic growth in the Middle East region is a direct result of the focus placed by governments on knowledge-based economies with particular emphasis on education, innovation, as well as ICT access and diffusion," commented Irene Mia, co-editor of the Report and senior economist of the Global Competitiveness Network at the World Economic Forum.