Without IT education, GDP goal is not realistic (Taipei Times, Editorial, Jan 02, 2008)Without IT education, GDP goal is not realisticBy Tu Jenn-hwa 林震華Wednesday, Jan 02, 2008, Page 8 CHINESE NATIONALIST Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou ( 馬英九 ) and vice presidential candidate Vincent Siew( 蕭萬長 ) recently proposed 12 "Love Taiwan" measures that promise to increase the 會場佈置per capita GDP to US$30,000 within eight years if they are elected. The "Big Investment, Big Warmth" plan proposed by the Cabinet some time ago also has a target of US$30,000 target. While US$30,000 has become the consensus target for mid-term growth, whether it can be attained remains to be seen. In the 21st century, the control and use of information has become the central means of 好房網generating wealth. Those who are not able to use information technology will lose their competitive edge. Hence all countries are doing their utmost to give rise to an information-driven society by providing basic infrastructure. In 2005, global Internet use was estimated at an average of 137 users out of every 1,000 people. The number was 527 per 1,000 people in high-income countries, 115 租屋網in middle-income countries and only 44 in low-income countries. On average, only 42 out of every 1,000 individuals globally had access to broadband: 163 per 1,000 people in high-income countries, 23 in middle-income countries and just one in low-income countries. Can the pervasiveness of information technology be linked to high economic productivity? Data released by the World Bank show 買房子that 19 countries had a GDP per capita above US$30,000 in 2006, including Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Iceland. Figures compiled by the International Telecommunication Union show that the average number of Internet users in those 19 countries was 297 per 1,000 people. In the same year, Taiwan had 308 Internet users per 1,000 people. However, the number of broadband users was 婚禮佈置comparatively low, at 198 people per 1,000. From the figures alone it appears that the penetration of information technology in Taiwan is not lower than in high-income countries. In Asia, Singapore has the highest ratio of Internet users at 528 for every 1,000 people, while Hong Kong has 385 and South Korea has 293. Taiwan, with 308, ranks higher than South Korea. Yet South Korea ranked 設計裝潢first in terms of the proportion of broadband users, at 293 per 1,000 people, followed by Hong Kong with 252. Singapore had 182. If the penetration of the Internet reflects the economic abilities of a country, then how can we explain Taiwan's situation, where pervasiveness is high yet per capita GDP is only half that of comparable countries? This may stem from the fact that information 婚禮顧問on the Internet is predominantly in English -- and the ability of Taiwanese Web users to understand English is limited. This would also explain why Hong Kong and Singapore's GDP per capita, at US$28,000, far outstrips that of Taiwan and South Korea. Be it the "Big Investment, Big Warmth" policy or the 12 "Love Taiwan" measures, proposals for building infrastructure for broadband access 酒店兼職are very much correct. Yet building infrastructure is easy compared with educating the people on how to use computers. I have colleagues at National Taiwan University who are unable to use computers. In Taiwan, several million individuals between the ages of 50 and 60 still need to learn how to use computers and the Internet. Until this has been achieved, the US$30,000 goal will be 租屋網impossible to achieve. Neither the Cabinet's nor the opposition's proposals provide a solution to this problem. Strategists and policymakers have much to do. Tu Jenn-hwa is an associate professor at the Graduate Institute of National Development at National Taiwan University. Translated by Angela Hong


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