Brazil advances in digital competitiveness ranking

Progress has been made progress in areas such as research and development productivity but the availability of skills is still an issue.

Brazil's capacity and readiness to adopt and explore digital technologies for economic and social transformation has seen some improvements, according to a study published this week by Swiss business school International Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country climbed six positions in this year's World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR) in relation to 2019, ranking 51st in a list of 63 countries.

The IMD ranking scrutinizes the digital competitiveness of nations based on the intangible infrastructure necessary for the learning and discovery aspects of technology, as well as the level of preparedness of an economy to carry out its digital transformation. In addition, it quantifies the landscape of developing digital technologies.

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According to the report, Brazil has managed to move from near the bottom of the list due to its performance in terms of scientific concentration, regulatory framework, capital and business agility. On the latter, the researchers noted there has been a noticeable improvement in aspects such as research and development productivity and female researchers.

On the other hand, overall top weaknesses include the availability of digital and technological skills and the attraction of foreign highly-skilled professionals and training within private sector employers.

At an industry event last month, Brazilian senior government officials mentioned there are various projects underway with the goal of "making the digital transformation reach the greatest number of Brazilians" and, at the same time, create commercial opportunities for sector players.

Such initiatives include the Brazilian Strategy for Digital Transformation, which covers actions across the health, education, agribusiness, tourism and industry segments, in addition to other initiatives in entrepreneurship, assistive technologies, artificial intelligence and scientific research.

"We need to work on projects that bring investments, modernize the business environment and offer solutions to include more people in the digital economy and develop all regions of the country," the interim minister at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Julio Semeghini, said at the time.