Red Tape & Bad Education Contribute to Put Brazil in the Back of the Line in IT

Global IT report The world’s 9th biggest economy, Brazil, is not even among the 60 top countries when the matter is Information Technology. In the just-released Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010 prepared for the ninth consecutive year by the World Economic Forum, Sweden tops the ranking while Brazil comes in 61st place.

Sweden is followed by Singapore and Denmark, which was in the number one position for the last three years. Switzerland (4), the United States (5) and the other Nordic countries together with Canada, Hong Kong and the Netherlands complete the top 10.

In South America Chile and Uruguay lead in positions 40 and 57.

With an extensive coverage of 133 economies worldwide, the report remains the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations.

The report is produced by the World Economic Forum in cooperation with INSEAD, the leading international business school, within the framework of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Network and the Industry Partnership Program for Information Technology and Telecommunications Industries.

According to the report, only four countries in Latin America and the Caribbean figure among the top 50 of the list, Barbados, 35; Chile, 40; Puerto Rico, 45 and Costa Rica, 49.

Mercosur member countries do not outstand with Uruguay ranking 57; Brazil, 61, Argentina, 91, Venezuela 112 and Paraguay 127.

Other Latin American countries include, Panama, 58; Colombia, 60; Jamaica, 66; Mexico, 78; Peru, 92; Honduras, el 106; Ecuador, 114; Nicaragua, 125 and Bolivia 131.

Spain ranks 34, one of the weakest of European countries together with Italy, 48.

Countries worth mentioning as reference are Japan in position 21; China, 37, while Australia ranks 16 and New Zealand, 19.

From the report: “Brazil’s performance is fairly unchanged at 61st this year, with a solid showing driven mainly by businesses and the government. Both stakeholders display rather satisfactory levels of ICT readiness (38th and 68th for business and government readiness, respectively) and use ICT extensively in their transactions, operations, and service provision (37th and 45th for business and government usage, respectively).

“The business sector is at the forefront of leveraging ICT advances (26th for extent of business Internet use, among other indicators), thanks to its R&D investment (29th for company spending on R&D) and innovation potential (28th for capacity of innovation), among other factors.

“Brazil is also home of some of the most efficient and advanced e-government services worldwide (53rd for the development of government online services). On the other hand, Brazil’s market (87th) and regulatory (73rd) environment needs to be upgraded and made friendlier to ICT by reducing red tape and improving intellectual property protection as well as educational and training standards.

“The poor quality of the educational system (123rd), notably in math and science (103rd), coupled with the high cost of access to ICT (e.g., Brazil ranks 118th for mobile telephone tariffs) reflect in the country’s low levels of individual readiness (99th) and in middling ICT penetration (61st for individual usage).”

MP/Bzz

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