B&R by the Numbers: The Digital Silk Road has a long way to go

Editor’s Note: This is the eleventh installment of Belt and Road Portal's special series on the Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017.

The problems of the digital gap and unbalanced development between the South and the North are outstanding in countries along the Belt and Road routes, a report says.

Singapore, Israel and Estonia have the most developed information infrastructure facilities, and the South Asian countries are relatively behind in this regard, according to the Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017 published by the State Information Center.

Promoting the construction of internet and information infrastructure facilities is an important content of the Belt and Road Initiative. The report says 16 out of the 64 countries along the Belt and Road routes are classified as low-level in information technology development.

Central and Eastern European countries take the lead. Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Southern Asia are behind in their information infrastructure constructions and information technology applications, which means they have a strong demand for inputs in these fields.

President Xi Jinping proposed to construct the Digital Silk Road of the 21st Century at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in May. The report says there is great potential and space for cooperation in information infrastructure construction.

A survey in the report also finds that the development level of information technology and its application in a country are related to the population’s education level and the country’s GDP per capita.

Editor: liuyue