Despite efforts in the past decade to improve ICT infrastructure in developing economies, there remains a new digital divide in how countries harness ICT to deliver competitiveness and well-being, the report said. The report suggests that national policies in some developing economies are failing to translate ICT investment into tangible benefits in terms of competitiveness, development and employment. This is in addition to the profound digital divide that already exists between advanced and developing economies in access to digital infrastructure and content. The report?s Networked Readiness Index (NRI), which measures the capacity of 144 economies to leverage ICT for growth and well-being, found Finland (1st), Singapore (2nd) and Sweden (3rd) take the top three places. The Netherlands (4th), Norway (5th), Switzerland (6th), the United Kingdom (7th), Denmark (8th), the United States (9th), and Taiwan, China (10th) complete the top 10. The BRICS? economies, and notably China (58th, down seven), continue to lag behind in the rankings. The sustained rapid economic growth of past years in some of these countries may be in jeopardy unless the right investments are made in ICT, skills, and innovation. The NRI assesses the preparedness of an economy to fully leverage ICT in terms of:
1) ICT infrastructure, cost of access and the presence of the necessary skills to ensure an optimal use.
(2) Uptake and use of ICT among governments, business and individuals.
(3) Business and innovation environment, and the political and regulatory framework.
(4) Economic and social impacts accruing from ICT.?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,? said Bruno Lanvin, executive director of e-Lab at INSEAD and co-editor of the report. ?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,? he added.]]>