Three GCC countries including Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE feature among the top 30 in a global list of 142 countries ranked for their IT readiness by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and INSEAD.
The annual Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures how markets leverage advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) to drive economic productivity and social development.
Among the GCC countries, Bahrain ranked 27 on the list- the highest in the region-followed by Qatar at 28, the UAE at 30, Saudi Arabia at 34 and Oman at 40.
Bahrain offers strong ICT readiness in terms of infrastructure, affordability and overall skills, and the government’s usage of these technologies is one of the highest in the world, said the Global Information Technology Report.
The report said that the UAE government’s commitment to develop and prioritise ICT has led to good technology infrastructure and a favourable framework for business and innovation. However, the country must liberalise its ICT and telecommunications markets to reduce the high costs of accessing the internet, according to INSEAD.
“The UAE would benefit further from expanding the overall skill base available in the country, especially eradicating adult illiteracy and increasing tertiary education participation,” Bruno Lanvin, executive director of INSEAD’s eLab said in a statement.
Globally, Sweden topped the index for its ICT readiness, and was followed by Singapore, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, US, Canada and the UK.