A failure by key countries to develop technologically could stall world economic expansion, according to a new report that evaluates 42 nations based on their capacity to participate in the global digital economy.
"Without the rapid participation of increasing numbers of people around the world, the global economy will stagnate and the potential of the networked world will be unrealized," the report said.
The report, called "Risk E-Business: Seizing the Opportunity of Global E-Readiness," rates the "e-readiness" of each economy based on five criteria: connectivity, technology leadership, information security, human capacity and technology business climate. The ratings are based on public data and more than 300 interviews with government officials, in-country experts and information technology leaders.
The report was issued Tuesday by McConnell International LLC, a Washington-based global policy and technology consulting firm. The firm's president, Bruce McConnell, recently served as director of the International Y2K Cooperation Center.
The 42 selected countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East represent the source of the next phase of world economic growth, making up three-quarters of the world's population and a quarter of the world's gross domestic product.
The report found that several countries such as Estonia, South Korea and Costa Rica are quickly catching up to Japan and the most wired nations in North America and Western Europe. But it also said 23 countries, including China, Russia, Indonesia and South Africa, needed substantial improvement in two or more areas before electronic business and electronic government services could flourish.
"Without significant progress over the next three years, these countries will face great challenges in catching up with the global leaders," the report said.
The report urged all countries to promote private-sector investment in digital infrastructure, foster competition and transparency, create incentives to retain skilled technologists, and build trust by enhancing security, privacy and intellectual-property rights.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.