Thursday, April 14, 2011

Digital Inclusion Index 2011

Nepal ranks among the ‘extreme risk’ countries in the Digital Divide Report launched on 13th April 2011. “Of the 39 countries rated at ‘extreme risk’, Nepal is one of them,” according to the report that revealed that 29 countries were from sub-Saharan Africa.
The Digital Inclusion Index, released by risk analysis firm Maplecroft uses 10 indicators to calculate the level of digital inclusion found across 186 countries. These include numbers of mobile cellular and broadband subscriptions, fixed telephone lines, households with a PC and television, internet users and secure internet servers, internet bandwidth, secondary education enrollment, and adult literacy.
Sweden is among the countries with the best access to communications technologies, according to the report.
A Digital Inclusion Index compiled by British risk analysis firm MapleCroft put India in the ‘extreme risk’ category, meaning much of its population was shut out of the so-called ‘digital revolution’.
India stood at 39 on the index, far behind Russia at 134, Brazil at 110 and China at 103, which were classified as being at ‘medium risk’ from lack of ‘digital inclusion’.
The survey looked at 186 countries to identify those nations whose populations were being stifled by a lack of ‘digital inclusion’. It used 10 indicators to assess to communications technology including mobile and broadband subscriptions.
Despite strong economic growth, the BRIC nations are still significantly outperformed by developed nations in the Digital Inclusion Index. The countries with the best access to communications technologies were the Netherlands (186), Denmark (185), Luxembourg (184), Sweden (183) and the UK (182). Trends suggest that the BRIC nations may not lag behind for much longer.
Of the BRIC nations, India (39) is the only country to be classified as ‘extreme risk’, meaning that the country’s population suffers from a severe lack of digital inclusion. China (103) Brazil (110) and Russia (134) are rated ‘medium risk’. Despite huge economic growth, the BRIC nations are still significantly outperformed by developed nations in the Digital Inclusion Index. The BRIC nations have witnessed huge growth in demand for ICTs, which is currently driving global spending for the sector. China has the highest total number of Internet users in the world (420 million), accounting for just over half of Asia’s Internet users and is set to become the world’s largest ICT market, whilst India, Brazil and Russia have all seen huge expansion in demand and market size.
(2011 April 14)

Nepal at 108th position in world rankings : WB

The World Bank has projected Nepal’s economic growth to be at four per cent. The GDP in current prices for Nepal in year 2010 is $15.10 billion, according to World Economic Outlook 2011 that has ranked Nepal at 108th position in world rankings according to GDP for 2010.
“Nepal is more than the average,” it said, adding that a year ago in 2009, the GDP (at current prices) was $12.89 billion.
In the year 2011, the GDP (at current prices) will be $15.17 billion, which will be 0.41 per cent more than the 2010 figure.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had, last week, projected 3.8 per cent growth for 2011. The ADB had projected inflation at 10 per cent but the World Economic Outlook 2011 has projected the price-hike to be at 9.9 per cent.
“The consumer price is estimated at 9.9 per cent in 2011 from 2010’s 9.3 per cent,” according to the World Bank report. “It is expected to moderate to eight per cent in 2012.”
In accordance with the standard practice in the World Economic Outlook, movements in consumer prices are indicated as annual averages rather than as December–December changes during the year, as is the practice in some countries.
Similarly, the bank projects negative balance on Current Account till the year 2016.
Some advanced economies have significant output gaps and elevated unemployment rates; many low-income countries are growing at rapid but sustainable rates; and there are signs of overheating in a number of emerging market economies. Similarly, there are large disparities in some economies’ external positions, it has warned.
However, broad-based recovery is continuing in most Asian economies, supported by strong export performance, buoyant private domestic demand, and in some cases rapid credit growth. Asia continues to outpace other regions even though growth has moderated.
(2011 April 13)