PM credits student laptop program for boost in WEF IT report

- Monday, May 9, 2011

PM credits student laptop program for boost in WEF IT report

Trinidad and Tobago jumped 16 spots to hold the 63rd position in the 2010-11 edition of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Information Technology Report thanks to its student laptop program, local media outlet Trinidad Express reported Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as saying.

"I have been told that no other country has done that in one year, and it was mainly because of the laptops for the students," said Persad-Bissessar at a recent press conference.

During the 2009-10 edition of the study, Trinidad and Tobago ranked 79th, moving up in the largest survey of countries since the report began 10 years ago with 138 covered.

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According to the WEF, the report is an "international assessment of the impact on ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations."

The report features the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), which looks at how prepared countries are to effectively use ICT on three levels: general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of individuals, businesses and governments to use and benefit from ICT; and their actual usage of available ICT.

The ranking did not see any Caribbean or Latin American countries in its top 20. Only five regional countries ranked in the top 50 - Barbados at 38th, Chile at 39th, Puerto Rico at 43rd, Uruguay at 45th and Costa Rica at 46th.

According to the report, despite Latin American and Caribbean countries' witnessing "notable" growth, as a whole the region trailed behind international best practices in leveraging ICT advances.

Sweden and Singapore maintained the top spots and first and second place, respectively. According to the WEF, Nordic countries and Asian tiger economies lead the ranking for adopting and implementing ICT for growth and development.