Qatar: Most IT-Friendly Middle East Country

A report that has just been published says that Qatar is the Middle East’s most IT-friendly nation. The report is from the World Economic Forum and the international business school INSEAD.

The most recent annual survey ranked the Middle East country as No. 23 globally, one place in front of the United Arab Emirates in a list of 148 countries.

First place on the list was Finland with second going to Singapore while Sweden placed third. Rounding out the top five was the Netherlands and Norway.

The new report shows a large lack of progress in linking the digital divide between developing and emerging nations and the world’s economies that are networked.

The implications of the increasing disparity suggest that countries that are less developed might miss out on the many benefits from information and communication technology.

Three countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council were in the top 30 global list for the third straight year with Bahrain at 29 joining UAE and Qatar.

The study listed other countries in the region as well: Saudi Arabia was 32, Oman 40 and Kuwait was 72 dropping back 10 spots.

The report indicated that countries in North Africa and the Levant were still suffering from weakness in framework conditions as well as overall innovation that prevented them from taking advantage of the full ICT.

Jordan was up three to 44, while Tunisia was at 87, Egypt ranked 91, Lebanon was 97, Morocco 99, Algeria was at 129, Libya followed at 138 and Yemen was last in the region at 140.

One of the co-authors of the reports said as with previous years, the MENA region has a highly diversified outlook regarding the capacity of its countries to leverage their ICT to increase well-being and competitiveness.

One of the major findings in the report was that countries must have more than only ICT infrastructure development in order to increase competitiveness.

The report said the countries also needed a holistic strategy creating an environment that was conducive to increasing innovation, entrepreneurship and innovation so people can flourish.

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