After holding on to the 86th spot for the past three years, the Philippines rose eight notches, now ranking 78th out of 148 countries, in the networked readiness index (NRI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The NRI measures the capacity of 148 economies to leverage information and communications technology (ICT) for growth and well-being in the latest WEF Global Information Technology Report 2014, published under the theme, “Rewards and Risks of Big Data.”
The report notes the Philippines’ improvement in the overall index, as well as among Asean countries.
The Philippines lagged behind five Asean countries in the networked readiness index rankings: Singapore in 2nd, Malaysia 30th, Brunei Darussalam 45th, Indonesia 64th, and Thailand 67th. The country is ahead of Vietnam 84th, Cambodia 108th, Lao PDR 109th, and Myanmar 146th.
“Improving its position both within the Asean group and overall, the Philippines climbs eight places to reach the 78th position. With a significant improvement in its overall score, the country continues its positive trend. The scores of all the 10 networked readiness pillars register an increase. A significant improvement in the perceived efficiency in the country’s legal system and property rights protection drive the political and regulatory environment up to 87th place,” according to the WEF report.
Other areas where the Philippines showed significant improvement are ICT readiness “with more affordable (75th) access to ICT infrastructure and better skills (69th spot) despite the need for higher quality in the educational system.”
“Business usage is, as in many other Asian economies, at a more advanced stage (43rd) than individual usage (91st). Progress made in terms of economic impacts registered last year continues this year, moving up eight positions and reaching 48th place. The role of ICTs in fostering innovation by creating new products and services (42nd) and organizational models (28th) is confirmed and contributes to this promising result,” the report stated.
The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) assesses the preparedness of an economy to fully leverage ICT in terms of ICT infrastructure cost of access and the presence of the necessary skills to ensure an optimal use; uptake and use of ICT among governments, business, and individuals; business and innovation environment; the political and regulatory framework; and the economic and social impacts accruing from ICT.
Makati Business Club executive director Peter Perfecto notes that the Philippines enjoys competitive advantage in 11 of the 54 indicators comprising the networked readiness index. These 11 are availability of latest technologies, venture capital availability, quality of management schools, internet and telephony competition, quality of educational system, use of virtual social networks, firm-level technology absorption, capacity for innovation, extent of staff training, impact of ICTs on new services and products, and impact of ICTs on new organizational models.