Publication: The News International
Date: April 24, 2014
Web links: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-245984-Pakistan-loses-six-notches-to-stand-at-111th-in-148-countries
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has lost six notches and stood at 111th position of the 148 countries in terms of ranking on Global Information Technology Report 2014, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced on Wednesday.
At the rank of 111 among 148 countries, Pakistan’s performance has been relatively stable on the Network Readiness Index 2014 of the World Economic Forum (WEF), as Pakistan lost six ranks as compared to 2013.
Pakistan showed slight improvement on the business and innovation environment pillar by improving its ranking at 101 as compared to 102 last year. Also on the readiness sub-index, it improves from 21 in 2013 to 19 this year.
The efficiency of legal system in settling disputes has risen from 109 last year to 112 in 2014. Similarly, the efficiency of legal system has also deteriorated from 97 to 108 in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
“One of the key findings of the report is that Pakistan cannot only rely on ICT infrastructure development to become competitive. Rather, the benefits of ICT can only be fully derived when a country implements a holistic strategy aimed at creating conditions for skills, innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish alongside modern infrastructure,” said Amir Jahangir, chief executive officer of Mishal Pakistan, a country partner institute of the World Economic Forum.
“One of the primary concerns for Pakistan is the lack of data protection laws. This can have medium- to long-term impact on the development of a knowledge-based industry, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship a potential Pakistan needs to capitalise due to its demographic potential,” Jahangir said.
The report expressed concerns on Pakistan’s human capital development on the skills pillar to improve performance on the network readiness index, as the quality of the education system has worsen from 75 in 2013 to 84 this year.
An alarming deterioration in the performance in math and science education has also been pointed out where Pakistan stands at 104 from the ranking of 88 in 2013. The report also showed serious efforts required by both public and private sectors on the extent of staff training where it has lost 16 points and the country stands at an alarming 128 rank.
Pakistan has shown improvement in the business and innovation environment pillar, where the availability of latest technologies has improved from 83 (2013) to 79 (2014); however, the lack of venture capital has dropped 22 points and ranks at 77 this year.
Pakistan is also losing its regional competitiveness advantage on doing business indicators, where the number of days to start a business ranks at 98 and the number of procedures to start a business is 119.
The report highlighting the affordability of technology ranks Pakistan as the 10th most affordable cellular serviced country, whereas Liberia tops the list with Sri Lanka at 4th, Bangladesh at 5th and India being on 7th globally.
Pakistan ranks at No 1 on the Internet and telephony competition globally. On monthly subscription charges for fixed (wired) broadband internet service (PPP $), Pakistan stands at 62nd position as compared to Sri Lanka being the most affordable (among 148 countries), Bangladesh being 3rd and India at 4th in the region.
On the businesses usage of technology, Pakistan has improved its indicators, where business-to-business usage of internet has improved from 116 to 104 this year, similarly, the business to consumer usage has also gained improvement by securing the position of 103 from 112 last year.
On the government usage of technology, Pakistan showed some depressive performance as the importance of ICT to government’s vision has gone from 117 in 2013 to 128 in 2014.
Similarly, the government in promoting the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), Pakistan was also weak, as this year it has been ranked at 91 from 77 in 2013.
In the South Asian region, Pakistan was outperformed by Sri Lanka at 76, India 83, Bhutan 94, Iran 104, whereas Pakistan was ahead of Bangladesh at 119 and Nepal 123.