MIAMI.- The Dominican Republic has the second-highest technology level within the CAFTA trade pact, according to the second annual Latin Technology Index from Latin Business Chronicle. The Dominican Republic ranks ten among the 20 countries surveyed, but is ahead of all CAFTA countries except for Costa Rica. The Dominican Republic has the fifth-highest Internet penetration in Latin America and ranked tenth in terms of broadband penetration, 13 in wireless penetration and fixed telephony penetration. However, the country did not do too well in terms of PC penetration - the second-lowest rate in Latin America. Only Guatemala had a lower PC penetration rate.

This is the first year the Dominican Republic is included in the index. Other new entries include Cuba and Haiti, which ended up in the last and second-last spots on the Latin Technology Index. Cuba has Latin America's lowest Internet, broadband and wireless penetration rates and the region's sixth-lowest PC and fixed telephony rates.

Chile again tops the list, thanks to having Latin America's highest Internet and broadband penetration, the second-highest wireless telephony penetration, the third-highest PC penetration and the fifth-highest fixed telephony penetration.

Measured by trade or economic groups, Mercosur has the highest technology level, while ALBA has the lowest. The average score for the four Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) is 11.52 points. The Andean Community (Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru) follows, with 7.98 points, with CAFTA (Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) closely behind. ALBA (Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela) only managed an average score of 5.46.

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