EconomyEditor's Pick2022 edition of Network Readiness Index Report to reveal most digitally ready economies in Southeast Asia

November 10, 2022

The latest global rankings of the Network Readiness Index (NRI) is set to be released next week, with a virtual regional launch highlighting Southeast Asian economies, particularly the Philippines’ performance, on Nov. 16. The NRI ranks a total of 131 economies based on their performance across 58 indicators and is grounded in four fundamental dimensions: Technology, People, Governance, and Impact.

The regional event, organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) project, Portulans Institute, and University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, together with media partner BusinessWorld, will bring together government officials, industry representatives, and civil society organizations to discuss ways in which the Philippines can leverage the power of digital technologies to build a sustainable and inclusive future, and how NRI metrics can help policy makers design effective digital strategies that address regional and economy-specific needs.

In prior years, Southeast Asian economies have generally stood out for their performance in the Impact pillar, supported by leadership in high-tech exports, a prevalent gig economy, and efficient high-tech and medium-high tech manufacturing. Increasing investments in emerging technology and a high international Internet bandwidth capacity also position the region well in the Technology pillar.

The Philippines has shown relative strength in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) by People, due to increasing investments in telecommunication services and an emphasis on the publication and use of open data by governments. Similar to other economies in the region, the Philippines also performs well when it comes to the economic impact of its participation in the network economy, given its strength in indicators like high-tech exports, e-commerce legislation, ICT services exports, and mobile connectivity.

“Digitalization is foundational for accelerating national economic growth and regional competitiveness. Addressing gaps in skills such as digital literacy and information security, access to equitable and affordable internet infrastructure, and in utilization of transformational technology services are essential for the Philippines to benefit from digital transformation,” said John Garrity, Chief of Party of USAID’s BEACON project.

USAID through the BEACON project is enhancing the Philippines’ digital ecosystem with public and private sector partnerships by leveraging innovations and increasing investment in ICT to make the country’s digital infrastructure and related services more accessible, affordable, and secure.

The NRI’s holistic approach covers issues ranging from future technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things to the role of the digital economy in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Over the last two decades, the NRI has established itself as one of the world’s most comprehensive assessments of digital readiness. Initially launched in 2002 by the World Economic Forum, the NRI was brought under the auspices of the Portulans Institute in 2019 and redesigned by its founders and co-editors Soumitra Dutta and Bruno Lanvin to better assess the dynamic landscape of digital transformation and network readiness. The 2022 edition is being published by Portulans Institute in partnership with Oxford’s Saïd Business School and 2022 Knowledge Partner malomatia. This edition’s theme will focus on how and why digital natives will shape the world as we step into the new digital era.

“Gen-Z and millennials are digital natives who are pointing to the direction of our digital futures. The shape of business and society tomorrow is being influenced by digital technologies in ways that we are only starting to understand today. The NRI is a valuable tool that provides better metrics and insights into creating a safe, inclusive, and trusted digital future for businesses and society,” said Soumitra Dutta, co-founder and President of Portulans Institute, co-author of the report and Dean of Oxford Saïd.

Register for free at bit.ly/NRI2022Ph or scan the QR code in the poster to join the regional launch on Nov. 16, at 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Manila Time.

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