Monday, October 15, 2012 | 3:00 PM
The Internet is a motor for economic growth, particularly in times of financial crisis. In Slovakia, a new Boston Consulting Group report entitled "Slovakia’s Online Opportunity" reveals that the Internet is already making a big contribution to the economy and to employment - and that the country has the potential to become an Internet powerhouse in coming years.
In 2011, BCG says, the Internet contributed EUR 2.3 billion to the Slovak economy (equivalent to 3.3% of GDP) - which makes the Internet a bigger contributor to GDP than traditional sectors such as telecoms and banking. Internet-using businesses provided around 30,000 jobs (approximately 2.3% of overall Slovak employment).
Looking ahead to 2016, the net’s impact is expected to grow by 12% - one of the fastest growth rates of any country surveyed by BCG - reaching 4% of Slovak GDP by 2016. As a small, open economy, Slovakia is dependent on exports for growth. BCG says that because the Internet allows exporters to promote themselves more easily around the world, it could be a game-changer for Slovakian companies, and that exports will account for around 30% of the Internet’s enlarged contribution to Slovak GDP by 2016
More than 100 guests gathered in Bratislava recently for the study’s launch and a debate on the importance of the Internet to Slovakia’s economy. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Director of Research at the National Bank of Slovakia, and the Deputy Finance Minister Pellegrini all participated in the debate, along with well-known business leader Peter Littmann, CEO of Brandinsider.
Minister Pellegrini confirmed that stimulating the Internet economy and encouraging innovation are a key part of his Government’s policies for the coming years - and announced that he is creating a new Digital Champion Advisory Committee to help develop Slovakia’s Internet economy. The group will bring together politicians, SMEs and Internet companies - and he extended an invitation to Google to be one of the founding members.
We warmly accepted the invitation and we look forward to helping Slovakia take advantage of it’s “Online Opportunity”.