Brazil ranks low in digital-readiness ranking

A weak regulatory environment is holding the country back despite an increase in tech adoption, according to a World Economic Forum report.

Brazil is not looking good in the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) report on how economies use opportunities offered by information technology and communications (ICT) for increased competitiveness and well-being.

The WEF's Networked Readiness Index ranks Brazil 72nd place this year, partially reversing a strong downward trend seen in recent years. According to the report, local ICT adoption and usage by both individuals and the business community "is good and supported by very good affordability".

The report adds that "cheap fixed broadband internet connections" have enabled the increased levels of tech adoption. But this contradicts a separate WEF report that highlights there has been no change regarding Brazil's efforts in improving connectivity, as it held the same position in 2015.

In terms of improving individual ICT usage, Brazil climbed five places this year to 57th. The WEF commends Brazil in that respect, adding that the improvement is "a considerable achievement", given that other countries are also moving quickly on individual adoption.

But the report also points out that networked readiness in the country continues to be held back by a weak regulatory environment and that the business and innovation environment in Brazil is currently ranked as one of the weakest in the world (124th), with both venture capital availability and government technology procurement falling further.

In addition, support of the ICT agenda is perceived to be weak in Brazil, the report points out, with businesses perceiving the government as failing to deliver in terms of incorporating digital technologies in their overall strategy as well as in the direct promotion of ICT.

According to the report, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Singapore, the Netherlands, and the US are leading the world when it comes to generating economic impact from investments in ICT.