THE Philippines’ ranking on a global list of network-ready economies slipped four notches this year, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
In its Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009, WEF said the Philippines fell to the 85th slot with a score of 3.60 among 134 economies that accounted for more than 98 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Manila previously held the 81st spot.
Other Southeast Asian economies were still ahead of the Philippines, with Singapore at the 4th spot, followed by Malaysia at 28th, Thailand at 47th, Vietnam at 70th and Indonesia at 83rd.
The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) examines a country’s readiness to use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively on three dimensions: the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key stakeholders—individuals, businesses and governments—to use and benefit from ICT; and their actual use of the latest ICT available.
The Philippines ranked low in infrastructure environment at 106th; political and regulatory environment, 97th; business readiness, 97th; individual readiness, 93rd; individual usage, 91st; government readiness, 88th; and government usage, 79th.
The country, however, ranked better in terms of market environment, 52nd; and business usage, 51st.
Denmark grabbed the top spot, overtaking Sweden and Singapore. The three were followed by Switzerland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands and Canada.
WEF said the ICT has proven instrumental for enabling developing and middle-income economies to leapfrog to higher stages of development and fostering economic and social transformation.
“In these challenging times of global economic crisis, the extraordinary capacity of ICT to drive growth and innovation should not be overlooked, since it can play a critical role not only in facilitating countries’ recovery but also in sustaining national competitiveness in the medium to long term,” WEF said.
“We are strong believers in the link between economic growth and ICT readiness, a link that should be further emphasized in the face of the current severe economic downturn and calls for budget cuts,” it added.
WEF is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It produced the report in cooperation with Insead, a leading international business school. Cisco Systems sponsored the survey. –Darwin G Amojelar, Reporter, Manila Times