Advancing Cloud and Data Infrastructure Markets: Strategic Directions for Low- and Middle-Income Countries

The global exchange of data and information has grown significantly, presenting vast opportunities for sustainable development. However, this potential can only be fully realized with strong, technologically advanced infrastructure. Cloud and data infrastructure are essential for supporting global data traffic and benefiting economies and societies.

Currently, most data centers are located in high-income countries, with expansion mainly occurring in upper-middle-income economies. This results in a significant disparity in data center capacity. To bridge this digital divide, it is crucial to increase investments in data centers in low-income economies.

The report examines the growth drivers of cloud and data infrastructure in emerging markets, including business models, policies, and regulatory environments. It highlights the challenges faced by low- and middle-income economies in attracting investments in these areas.

Creating an environment conducive to private investment in cloud and data infrastructure requires a stable business environment, a skilled workforce, clear regulations, and reliable, affordable energy and broadband. Efforts should also aim to reduce the time from concept to launch of cloud infrastructure, simplify access to land and water resources, and prioritize sustainability to minimize the environmental impact through regulations and incentives.

Categories: Recommended Readings
Author: World Bank Group