|By Roger Strukhoff||
|September 19, 2013 07:24 AM EDT||
Today's announcement by the US Federal Reserve Bank that it will continue to buy $85 billion in commercial bonds per month will no doubt ease a lot of minds in developing countries. A nice story in The New York Times focused on this topic, noting the recent currency weakness in several of the current darlings of international investment: India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey.
No offense intended to anyone, but can we be a little more creative in the countries we cover? This group of countries is in the "BRICS+" group that routinely come up in conversations about investing in developing nations. They are all large economies, with various signs of strong growth in recent years.
But none of them score particularly well in our research, which looks at national ICT commitments and ranks 102 nations on how they are doing on a relative basis, ie, how well they do with the resources they have. Our research indicates that most of the international darlings have under-committed to their information technology infrastructure, and will disappoint a lot of investors and other backers along the way.
Travel to those places, and you'll find a still-horrendous lack of physical infrastructure here, a large but weakly monetized economy there, enormous social problems here and there, and a boom driven almost singly by real estate over that away.
We encourage the business and government leaders of all the above-named countries to think about ICT and think about how better Internet access, faster Internet speeds, and higher IT budgets will lead to less income disparity and better lives for their people.
In our opinion, investors and companies looking for stronger places to put their money and people include several other places that we've identified as regional leaders: to name just a few, Morocco, Ghana, and Kenya in Africa; Malaysia and Philippines in Asia; Chile and Uruguay in South America; Bulgaria and Jordan in Southeast Europe & the Middle East.