Panama, Jordan Show Similar IT Potential

I had inquiries this week about our research in two separate but similar places: Panama and Jordan.

How are they similar? Both have relatively small populations but central locations in major regions of the world, and both seem to be poised to emerge as leaders in their regions and income tiers.

The Fundamentals
Our two fundamental research algorithms at the Tau Institute examines the underlying keys to the IT and economic infrastructures of 102 nations throughout the world. We adjust our factors for local cost-of-living. Beyond that, we can factor in the effect of specific government policy actions such as the establishment of tech centers and regions, financial incentives to foreign investors, and the like.

Looking at our first fundamental measure – the overall ranking – we find Jordan in 30th place among the 102 nations surveyed, and Panama in 57th place. (The United States sits in 34th place in our overall rankings.)

Our second measure – the raw measure – is designed to tease out diamonds in the rough, ie, those countries with the most raw potential for IT development. It finds Jordan in 35th place and Panama in 58th place. (The United States, not surprisingly, is ranked near the bottom in this ranking.)

Regional Views
This view is brought into sharper relief by looking at the 102 nations by region and income tier. Jordan leads the Middle East region, immediately ahead of Israel and the UAE. Panama ties with Brazil for 4th place in Latin America, a region that’s headed by Chile.

But it’s important to note we’ve been able to look at 10 countries in the Middle East with a total population of about 250 million people, compared to 14 Latin American countries with a total population of more than 500 million. Furthermore, Panama is literally located at the nexus between North and South America and in essence uses the US dollar as its currency.

Jordan also leads its income-tier, a group of 21 nations with per capita incomes of between $2,000 and $6,000. Panama is hindered a bit in this ranking, as its per capita income of $8,590 reflects a relative wealth and reliance on the Panama Canal and all that goes with it. Yet it still ranks above larger Latin America countries such as Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina.

Leaders, Really
Looking at all the numbers, our research shows that Jordan is the place to take most seriously in the Middle East region. Coincidentally, the government is pushing hard on technology-driven initiatives, and recently held an election designed to strengthen its parliamentary, constitutional democracy.

Panama doesn’t rank as highly, but does emerge as a country to take seriously in the Americas.

It’s obvious that a Panama vs. Jordan comparison would be an apples-to-oranges comparison. Fortunately, this is not what we’re doing. Rather, our research shows that two similar-sized countries in different parts of the world, both of which may be overlooked in discussions of the major players in their regions, deserve some attention.

Our research shows that these are two nations in which companies and individuals looking for sources, locations, or investments should take a long look.

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