Experts from the Institute of Macroeconomic Forecasting and Research (IPMI) have prepared an assessment of the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the context of Uzbekistan’s regions.
The conditions created in the regions are crucial to ensure the inclusion of the digital economy. It is important to monitor the scale and dynamics of these opportunities to ensure that “digital opportunities” exist not only in the center, but also in the regions.
Digitization can reduce the cost of moving people and goods, which in turn reduces the value of location for workers and businesses. As a result, technological progress in regions can improve the quality and access to services, political participation, boost entrepreneurship and local labor markets, etc.
ICTs contribute to the improvement of information management within the company. They can reduce transaction costs and increase transaction speed and reliability for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.
Japan is one of the leading countries in considering teleworking as an alternative policy to boost the rural economy. If in 2017 13.9% of Japanese companies allowed their employees to work remotely, in 2021 this figure reached 51.9%.
To assess the state of ICT development in the context of Uzbekistan’s regions, experts from the Macroeconomic Research and Forecasting Institute (IPMI) ranked Uzbekistan’s regions based on the ICT development index according to the ITU methodology.
The calculation was based on the ICT Development Index (IDI), which consists of 11 indicators divided into 3 groups: access to ICT, use of ICT and ICT skills.
The index is calculated for 2015-2021. The following results were obtained:
1. The average index value for Uzbekistan increased from 6.04 in 2015 to 6.96 in 2021.
2. In 2021, the top three included such regions as Tashkent (index value is 9.28), Navoi (7.41) and Bukhara (7.06).
3. During the study period, the largest increase in the index was observed in the regions of Khorezm (+1.20), Kashkadarya (+1.18), Namangan (+1.15) and the Republic of Karakalpakstan (+1.12 ).
It is noteworthy that during the analyzed period, in all regions of Uzbekistan, except for the city of Tashkent, there is an increase in the absolute indicator of the index. The drop in the index in Tashkent can be explained by the high initial yield compared to other regions. But, despite this, in 2021 Tashkent maintained a tangible superiority in the classification.
In summary, it can be argued that the ICT development index for Uzbekistan allows an in-country assessment of the development of the sector by region and, due to a single indicator, monitoring the dynamics of development.