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Connecting Europe: sizing the internet economy

At this seminar, David Dean of the Boston Consulting Group presented the findings of a study he authored with his colleague Paul Zwillenberg, which examine how the Internet economy is contributing to European growth, and what we can do to ensure that that growth continues. Fabio Colasanti, Director of the International Institute of Communications acted as discussant.

Almost overnight, the Internet has emerged as a key part of our economic life in Europe. Starting in late 2010 and continuing to 2011, the Boston Consulting Group carried out a number of studies to understand the economic impact of the internet. The studies principally measure the economic activity generated by internet usage in terms of GDP, including e-commerce. The results so far show that for countries at the forefront of embracing the Internet, such as the UK and Sweden, it accounts for between 6-7% of GDP (2009 figures). Even in markets where adoption has lagged there is still a significant contribution being made. For instance, in Poland and Czech Republic, the internet economy is at 2.7% and 3.6% respectively.

And, of course, looking forward the picture is even more exciting. Overall, by 2015 the Internet is expected to account for 10% of GDP in the UK, around 8% in Sweden and over 5% in most other markets. At a time of economic crisis in Europe, we must continue to embrace innovative solutions to foster growth and development.

Event materials

  • BCG study: Turning Local. From Madrid to Moscow, the Internet is Going Native here
  • Slide presentation of the study here
  • Summary of the event here