PH’s tech readiness ranking to climb, The Economist report says

The Philippines’ technological readiness ranking is expected to climb within the next four years, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released June 5 said.

Of the 82 countries surveyed by the EIU’s “Preparing for Disruption: Technological Readiness Ranking” report, the Philippines is expected to place 55th based on its 2018-2022 forecast. The country, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, previously ranked 60th in the EIU’s previous report which covered the years 2013-2017.

“We expect particularly strong jumps in access in India, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Malaysia,” said the report, which examined three categories: Internet access, digital economy infrastructure, and openness to innovation.

Internet access examined “Internet usage and mobile phone subscriptions,” digital economy infrastructure “looked at e-commerce, e-government, and cyber-security,” while openness to innovation covered “international patents granted, research and development spending, and the research infrastructure,” the report said.

As a result of its expected higher ranking, the Philippines now shares its 55th spot with five other countries — Colombia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Serbia, and Sri Lanka, the report indicated.

During the previous reckoning period, the Philippines was on equal footing with Morocco, the only other country in the 82-nation list that placed 60th.

While the report’s comment serves as good tidings, especially since the Duterte government is bent on implementing its Build, Build, Build program that — among others — intend to improve internet connectivity, the Philippines neither ranked among the top and bottom in several categories such as e-commerce, mobile phone subscriptions, and online services indices.

Among Asian economies, Hong Kong placed first in a list of top ten countries with the highest mobile phone subscriptions and South Korea ranked 5th in top ten e-commerce business environments. Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan were among those included as top scoring countries in the online service index.

Meanwhile, Australia, Singapore, and Sweden topped the EIU’s rankings for 2018-22, the report said.

“In 2013-17 the top-scoring countries were Finland and Sweden. The US and France will join the top ten in 2018-22; Libya and Angola will retain the lowest positions,” the report said.

The same report said that “government investment will drive a broad-based improvement in countries’ tech-readiness in the next five years.”

“Technological change is inescapable, and how well prepared governments, businesses, and individuals are for disruption is increasingly important. The US will climb sharply in our ranking in the coming years as internet access improves, and will remain the world leader for innovation clusters and new patents. Meanwhile the UK’s position will decline, reflecting comparatively low R&D spending—a key contributor to productivity growth—and inadequate investment in cyber-security,” the report quoted Emily Mansfield, country forecast director at The Economist Intelligence Unit, as saying.

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