“The big story is how India is falling behind in relative terms as far as its overall measure of technology and competitiveness is concerned,” Dutta said. “A few years ago, India was ahead of China.”
Asia and the Pacific also have regional disparities.
Some of the world’s wealthiest, most innovative and digitized nations in the world — Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Japan — join Singapore in the top 20, the report said. However, Asia also has some of the poorest, least-connected countries including Nepal, Tajikistan and Pakistan.
The report said Latin America and the Caribbean “continues to suffer from an important lag in adopting ICT and technology more broadly.”
Chile is the top-ranked country in the region, at 39, with second-ranked Uruguay at 44.
Bilbao-Osorio said the Latin American results “are a little bit disappointing, especially given the economic performance of the region in the last five to 10 years.”
He said Latin America needs to improve ICT infrastructure, the skills and education level of its people and the environment to maximize use of information and communcations technology.
As for the Middle East, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are in the lead and have recognized “the importance of ICT to diversify their economy,” as has Israel, ranked 20.
The report includes case studies of two countries that have invested heavily in ICT, Mauritius at 53, and Azerbaijan at 61.
Dutta said the key to improving ICT performance is “the mindset” of the country’s leader.