Bahrain enters top 30 economies ranked by World Economic Forum
Bahrain has entered the top 30 economies ranked by the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Information Technology Report, published today. A climb of eight places for the second year running puts the Kingdom 29 of 133 economies worldwide.
Bahrain is the highest climber of the Gulf nations in this year’s rankings and over a three year period, having gained 21 places since 2006. Now a close second in the region, the Kingdom’s rise reflects a commitment to ICT as both a sector in its own right and an enabler of continued economic growth, modernisation and competitiveness, according to Kamal Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
“In Bahrain, we recognise ICT as crucial in ensuring the optimum business environment for international companies looking to locate in the Kingdom to best access the trillion dollarGulf market and wider Middle East. It is key in helping to achieve the ambitions of Vision 2030: to drive private sector growth, support further diversification of the economy and ultimately elevate national living standards by creating greater opportunities for Bahrainis,” he said.
Published for the ninth consecutive year in cooperation with INSEAD, the report is the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on the development process and competitiveness of nations. Its Networked Readiness Index (NRI) assesses how prepared countries are to use ICT effectively on three dimensions: 1) general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; 2) the readiness of three stakeholder groups – individuals, businesses and governments – to use and benefit from ICT; and 3) their actual usage of the latest technologies available.
The report highlights Bahrain’s ICT and business friendly market environment (15 of 133 economies worldwide); high individual readiness (21); outstanding government readiness (17) and usage (10); and top-class e-government services (8) together with widespread e-participation (11). The findings follow news in January this year that the Kingdom was ranked first in the Gulf and wider Middle East and 13th of 192 countries worldwide by the 2010 United Nations Global e-Government Readiness Survey.
Bahrain is one of the Gulf’s technological pioneers. Earlier this year the Kingdom hosted MENA ICT Week, one of the leading ICT events in the region, and highlighted the growing potential for foreign investment in the sector.