Between 1998 and 2004, the countries of Latin America advanced in the field of information technology, but there are still chasms to be bridged.
This information was provided by João Carlos Ferraz, director of Productive and Entrepreneurial Development of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and is part of a study conducted by the organ.
According to the study, in terms of stationary telephones per 100 inhabitants, the number in Latin America rose from 0.20 in 1998 to 0.30 in 2004. The number of cell phones per 100 inhabitants in the region grew from 16 to 45 during the period.
In terms of Internet users per 100 thousand inhabitants, Latin America went from 0.07 to 0.28, and the number of Internet users per stationary telephone increased from 32 to 90.
The conclusion, Ferraz said, is that Latin American countries are changing, that is, the region’s developing countries are seeking means and initiatives to promote digital and social inclusion, but they still run up against the problem of income, which is small for the purchase of these more sophisticated technological goods.
The ratio between per capita income and spending on telephone services shows that, in percentage terms, Brazil is similar to countries like France and the Netherlands, for example.
“It’s just that the 8% of the GDP that Brazil spends on information and communications technology represents an average per capita outlay of US$ 600 to US$ 700 on ICT (information and communications technology), while in France these expenditures come to US$ 2.5 thousand for each inhabitant.”
Since yesterday, the forms of convergence in the region to make it easier for the population to have access to the new technologies are being debated at the Gloria Hotel, in Rio, during the Latin American and Caribbean Ministerial Conference.
The meeting is in preparation for the second phase of the World Summit on the Society of Information, which will be held in Tunisia in November. The Conference is being organized by the Brazilian government, with advisory support from the ECLAC.