UAE yops Mideast’s IT Competitiveness Index
The United Arab Emirates continues to lead the Middle East’s information and communication technology (ICT) readiness index according to the Global Information Technology Report (GITR), a joint study conducted by World Economic Forum and INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools with campuses in Europe and Asia and a Centre for Executive Education and Research in Abu Dhabi.
Now in its seventh year, the INSEAD/WEF report ranks the level and sophistication of a country’s knowledge economy and its capacity to generate technology or absorb and adapt it to meet national needs with the aim of improving its competitiveness.
The UAE ranks 29th out of a total of 127 countries as a result of particularly strong government readiness marks (10th) and usage (17th) which offset a poorer performance on the general environment component of the study. Each economy is benchmarked against three dimensions - market environment, the political and regulatory framework and the quality of available infrastructure.
’The e-government initiatives of the UAE and its overall investment in the ICT sector have been recognised as the drivers for the country’s leading position amongst its Middle Eastern peer economies,’ said Professor Soumitra Dutta, INSEAD Dean of External Relations and co-author of the report.
As a region, the Middle East has made the highest progress in networked readiness over the last seven years with the number of internet users in the area soaring by more than 600 per cent, three times the world’s average increase.
‘The Middle East has made the single biggest upward move in technological competitiveness spearheaded by the GCC’s rapid economic growth as well as the vision of some of the Gulf States that are gradually diversifying their revenue streams towards knowledge-based marketplaces,’ said Dutta.
Most of the countries in the region posted important improvements in the rankings, with Qatar and Kuwait moving up four places to 32nd and 52nd places respectively and Bahrain leaping six ranking places to 45th. Saudi Arabia and Oman entered the rankings for the first time at 48th and 53rd place respectively.
The Global Information Technology Report is today recognised as the ‘gold standard’ for benchmarking the networked readiness and technological competitiveness of the world’s economies. INSEAD’s eLab, a management knowledge and thought leadership initiative focusing on the digital economy, plays a vital role towards the development of this report. Its recent establishment in Abu Dhabi will further boost ICT knowledge dissemination in the region.
Commenting on e-lab’s role, Dutta said that "e-Lab in Abu Dhabi has been established with the goal of building a centre of excellence in ICT for the Middle East. Through local research and dissemination activities, eLab seeks to help private and public stakeholders to leverage the potential of ICT in strengthening the region’s competitiveness".
© 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)