Fast growing nations have significant ground to make up in order to be globally competitive, despite a spike in technological advancements, according to the World Economic Forum.
The group said in a recent report, co-authored by the INSEAD international business school, that the so-called BRIC nations, (Brazil, Russia India and China) continued to lag behind more developed nations in information and communications technology (ICT) spending.
“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," said INSEAD e-lab director Bruno Lanvin,
"Individual countries need to identify what separates them from reaching that threshold if they have not reached it yet in order to fulfil long-term growth, competitiveness and innovation targets"
The report found that the UK sat in the middle of the pack among developed nations, placing seventh with some 85 percent of households boasting broadband internet access. Finland led the pack with a 90 percent penetration figure, while the US lagged behind with 70 percent.
Researchers noted that in areas lacking political development, IT infrastructures and access remained relatively poor, leading researchers to suggest that government regimes in areas such as South America and Sub-Saharan Africa ease restrictions on IT and internet access.
"Governments play a crucial role in supporting this digital development, from funding broadband networks to addressing complex issues such as privacy and security," the group said in its report.
The economy as a whole will eventually reap the benefits as remote rural areas are tied into the national network, resulting in new jobs and broader educational opportunities."
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