Chile leads Ibero-American world in access to technology

The Andean nation moved up five notches arriving at 34 in the World Economic Forum’s survey of 144 nations’ access to Information and Communications Technology.

Chile ranked first among Ibero-American nations in the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Networked Readiness Index, a measurement that determines how nations take advantage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) towards improving growth and well-being.

The report, entitled Global Information Technology Report 2013, ranked 144 nations in terms of four pillars: the cost of access to ICT, the uptake and use of ICT within the government, the environment for business and innovation, and the economic and social impact that ICT generates.

“This analysis shows how matching investments in ICT with investment in skills and innovation can help economies cross a ‘magic threshold’, beyond which return on investment increases significantly,” Bruno Lanvin, the co-editor of the report, said.

“Individual countries need to identify what separates them from reaching that threshold if they have not reached it yet in order to fulfill long-term growth, competitiveness and innovation targets” he added.

Since the World Economic Forum’s 2012 study, Chile has advanced five spaces to 34th place out of the 144 nations ranked. Of Ibero-American nations, Chile surpassed Spain and Puerto Rico, both of which maintained their positions at 36 and 38 respectively.

Other countries in the region followed Chile including Barbados (39), Panamá (46), Uruguay (52), Costa Rica (53),Brasil (60), México (63), Colombia (66), Trinidad y Tobago (72), Jamaica (85), República Dominicana (90), Ecuador (91), El Salvador (93), Argentina (99), Guyana (100),Guatemala (102), Perú (103), Paraguay (104), and Venezuela (108°).

While Chile marked impressive improvement, the study admitted that countries in the region face substantial obstacles to the improvement of ICT access in the future.

“Several challenges remain: public funds to build infrastructure are limited, and many people cannot afford Internet access,” the study described. “Nevertheless, e-government has already improved the lives of Latin Americans.”

Nations that ranked at the forefront of the World Economic Forum’s ranking include: Finland (1), Singapore (2), Sweden (3), Netherlands (4), and Norway (5).