General Mishal in Media World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum ranks Pakistan at 102, dropping 14 points on the Global Information Technology Report 2012.

Mishal in partnership with WEF releases Pakistan’s ranking on the Global Information Technology Report, measuring the Network Readiness Index of 142 economies over 10 different pillars.

Islamabad, Pakistan – 4 April 2012 – The lack of seriousness from the government of Pakistan reflects in the Global Information Technology Report 2012 of the World Economic Forum. According to the Report, the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology being headed by Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan; shows lack of efficiency and poor governance at the part of the Government of Pakistan.

Despite efforts over the past decade to develop information and communications technologies (ICT) infrastructure in developing economies, a new digital divide in terms of ICT impacts persists, according to the latest rankings of The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2012: Living in a Hyper connected World, released today by the World Economic Forum. The GITR indicates Pakistan’s challenges and opportunities on 10 different pillars, where Pakistan has not been able to show any remarkable improvements in the previous year.

Pakistan lost its competitive advantage on the fixed broadband internet tariffs, where it dropped the ranking from 36 in 2011 to 79 in 2012, which means residential monthly fee in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). The extent of information and communications technologies improving access for all citizens to basic services (health, education, financial services, etc.) also took a dip to 113 with losing 30 points from last year. Government prioritizing of ICT also achieved a rank of 103 from 83 last year, making a variation of 20 points.

A serious concern and bottleneck on Pakistan’s business and entrepreneurship initiatives have been identified by the GITR on Pakistan’s policies on the tax regime introduced in 2011, this actually sum of profit tax, labor tax and social contributions, property taxes, turnover taxes, and other taxes, as a share (%) of commercial profits, Pakistan stood 58 this year from 39 last out of 142 economies in the world. The GITR also identified that the extent of information and communication technologies creating new organizational models are also weakening in Pakistan, going 81 from 63 last year.

However, Pakistan improved its competitiveness in certain areas including, efficiency of the legal system in challenging regulations, where Pakistan improved from 95 in 2011 to 79 in 2012 out of 142 countries. The judicial independence was also highlighted as one of the advantages in Pakistan, where the improvements were made on 11 points, thus ranking Pakistan at 62 in the world. The effectiveness of the law making body has also improved 9 points, with a ranking of 93 this year. The quality of education system and the capacity for innovation also shows improvement of 7 points each ranking at 79 and 51 respectively.

On the ten pillars of the Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2012 out of 142 countries Pakistan scored as follows: on the 1st pillar; Political and regulatory environment (110), 2nd pillar; business and innovation environment (96); infrastructure and digital content (108); 3rd pillar doing well on the affordability pillar (26); 5th pillar; Skills (129), 6th pillar; individual usage (104); 7th pillar; business usage (96), 8th pillar; government usage (103); 9th pillar; economic impacts (94) and on the 10th pillar; of social impacts (99).

Sweden stood (1st) and Singapore (2nd) top the rankings in this year’s report in leveraging information and communications technologies to boost country competitiveness. Switzerland (5th), the Netherlands (6th), the United States (8th), Canada (9th) and the United Kingdom (10th) also show strong performances in the top 10.

However, ICT readiness in sub-Saharan Africa is still low, with most countries showing significant lags in connectivity due to insufficient development of ICT infrastructure, which remains too costly, and displaying poor skill levels that do not allow for an efficient use of the available technology. Even in those countries where ICT infrastructure has been improved, ICT-driven impacts on competitiveness and well-being trail behind, resulting in a new digital divide.

Despite improvements in many drivers of competitiveness, the BRICS countries– led by China (51st) – still face important challenges to more fully adopt and leverage ICT. An insufficient skills base and institutional weaknesses, especially in the business environment, present a number of shortcomings that stifle entrepreneurship and innovation.

With a record coverage of 142 economies worldwide, the report remains the most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the impact of ICT on competitiveness and the well-being of nations. After a two-year review process, the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) featured in the report has evolved to ensure that it captures the main drivers of a rapidly changing ICT industry and remains relevant for public- and private-sector decision-makers.

Established in 2003, as a social enterprise, Mishal has recently being signed as the country partner institution of the World Economic Forum’s Center for Global Competitiveness and Performance. The Data on Pakistan for the for Global Competitiveness Report for 2012-13 and the Global Information Technology Report 2013 is being collected through the Executive Opinion Surveys.

Mishal is at the forefront of devising and delivering communication solutions for a cross-section of stakeholders and is actively pursuing and supporting initiatives to improve the state of media and journalism in Pakistan. Mishal has recently launched Pakistan’s first journalism awards to create media diversity and to promote journalism across all platforms of media delivery mechanisms, including print, television, radio and the internet journalism.

Mishal has undertaken the task to build the capacity of press cubs and journalist associations in Pakistan by creating a learning platform for the media and journalists across Pakistan. The initiative is building the capacity through interactive workshops, conferences, collaborative thinking and knowledge sharing. It is also focusing on improving the competitiveness of the media by creating competition amongst the various verticals through media and journalism awards for the professionals in the field of communications by creating a national knowledge grid.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests.

Mishal Pakistan is the country partner institution of World Economic Forum’s Center for Global Competitiveness and Performance.

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