Brazil has progressed slightly in terms of its use of ICT in the digital economy, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The latest Global Information Technology Report now ranks Brazil 56th out of 138 economies worldwide. This marks a slight improvement in relation to the previous report, where Brazil ranked 61st.
The index bases its relative rankings on 71 economic and social indicators in the Network Readiness Index, which look at a country’s environment in terms of the market, infrastructure, and the political and regulatory environment, considered in terms of the three main “stakeholders”: individuals, businesses and government.
Sweden ranked number one, followed by Singapore, Finland, Switzerland and the US.
Despite the small advances for Brazil – prompted mainly by an increasingly sophisticated business environment and government’s efforts to promote the ICT sector as a key lever for economic growth – issues including the regulatory environment continue to hamper further development.
The report points out that Brazil still has “dismal” levels of individual readiness around ICT (the country ranks 110th in that respect) and a “burdensome” market environment (it occupies the 93rd post on the list from that standpoint). The WEF also found that Brazil has low educational standards, particularly around science and maths and very high mobile telephony tariffs, which in turn prevent more widespread ICTusage by the population – the country ranks 64th for individual usage.
According to the WEF forecast, improvements in the speed and quality of broadband will have significant implications for productivity gains and new opportunities for individuals. Brazil has committed US$7.3bn to its broadband plan over the next five years and the current administration is pushing internet providers to increase minimum connection speeds to 1MB.
No Latin American country made the top twenty list. Of those countries, Chile, at 39th, holds the highest position followed by Uruguay at 45th. Argentina dropped five places to 96th.
From a BRIC perspective, China led the pack, holding the 36th position and leading India, Brazil and Russia by 12, 22, and 31 positions, respectively.
The 412-page report is available for free download as a PDF file.
Image by erisfree licensed under Creative Commons.