T&T ranks 70th in the latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Information Technology Report (GITR). The 14th edition of the report, a comprehensive assessment of how prepared an economy is to apply the benefits of ICTs to promote economic growth and well-being, was released locally this week at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, Mount Hope.
Science and Technology Minister Dr Rupert Griffith hailed the country’s improved showing in the report as evidence of Government’s commitment to growth of the ICT sector.
He said it followed closely on an independent survey conducted by the International Telecommunications Union, which showed that T&T had climbed three points and is now ranked at 67 on the ICT Development Index.
The ITU estimates that for every ten per cent increase in penetration, a country’s GDP is positively impacted by between 0.8 per cent and one per cent.
In the GITR rankings, T&T moved up 45 spots to 81st in the world for “Internet and telephony competition.”
“In T&T, mobile penetration in 2014 stood at 149 per cent up from 146 per cent the previous year. This is one of the highest in the world, and exceeds the developed world average of 128 per cent–and far exceeds that of the developing world, which averages 89 per cent,” Griffith said.
“Domestic fixed broadband penetration rose from 54 per cent to 58 per cent in that same period and we expect coverage of fixed broadband to reach 98 per cent of T&T.
Revenues for the telecommunications and broadcasting industry rose by 12.6 per cent over the period 2011 to 2012 and 4 per cent over the period 2012 to 2013. “This translated into $5.3 billion or equal to about 3.3 per cent of GDP for 2012 and $5.5 billion or 3.1 per cent of GDP for 2013.”
The minister pointed out that this country was not classified among nations caught in a growing digital divide where the full economic and social benefits of the Internet were only available to a minority of the population.
He said the report found that many countries were failing to implement basic reforms to increase productivity, boost economic growth and raise living standards.
He said while the world’s developing and emerging economies were failing to exploit the potential of ICTs to drive social and economic transformation and catch up with more advanced nations, this country was not among them.