Pakistan Climbs Technology Index

Pakistan was placed at the 87th position on Global Information Technology Report ranking for 2009-10 of the World Economic Forum against last year’s 98th, proving innovation can serve as a possible driver for economic growth, said a press release issued on Tuesday.

“It is evident that technology is playing a leading role in accelerating economic growth and promoting development. Pakistan should capitalize on its human capital to make innovation as one of the key factors for creating a knowledge-based economy,” said Dr Arshad Ali, Director General of School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Sciences, NUST. The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has organized an Innovation Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday 04 August, at its Islamabad campus.

The theme of the summit has been proposed advancement, innovation and trend-setting. This meeting is the first of its kind in Pakistan. It will have special participation from directors and senior economists working with the Global Competitiveness Network at the World Economic Forum.

Pakistan scored well in the sub-indexes of Individual Readiness; mobile cellular tariffs secured 8th position, and residential telephone connection charges ranked at 11th. While under the sub-index of Business Readiness, the country performed well in business telephone connection charges and monthly telephone subscription. Marked improvement was witnessed in Pakistan’s capacity for innovation, which went up to 56 from 73 in 2008-09. There were slight improvements in the quality of educational systems, where Pakistan ranks at 99 from 104 in 2008-09, internet access in schools improved by six places scoring 75 and company spending on R&D showed significant improvement taking its score to 80.

Senior economists of the Global Competitiveness Network, Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz and Dr Irene Mia will be a part of the summit. Mia is also co-editor of the report on ‘Innovation: the Global Information Technology Report.’Speakers at the WEF will explore Pakistan’s performance in general competitiveness and technology, using the methodological framework on Global Competitiveness Index and Networked Readiness Index.

The meeting will see the launch of an advisory Innovation Arbitrage Council (IAC), which will have varied business executives on its panel including Mohsin Iqbal, who has represented companies like Intel and HP in Asia Pacific, and Mishal CEO Amir Jahangir, who was selected as the Young Global Leader 2010 by WEF. In 2009-10, Sweden, Singapore and Denmark have secured the top three places for having the most comprehensive ICT base. US slipped two places securing fifth position, while China stands at 37 and India at 43, showing an improvement of 9 and 11 places respectively.