Brussels – The Computer & Communications Industry Association has compiled a series of studies and case studies that seek to provide a broader answer to the increasingly asked questions of who reaps the economic benefits of the Internet. While an often cited McKinsey economic study noted that 75 percent of the Internet’s benefits went to traditional companies and not technology companies, CCIA also brought together statistics from tech companies and tangible examples of smaller European companies using the Internet to generate revenue, reach global markets and find and hire employees.

The booklet,  “The Internet: The Enabling Force of the 21st Century, “ is being released on Wednesday ahead of the European Council summit, focused for the first time on digital matters, and which will review several Internet economy proposals. A few highlights summarised in CCIA’s Internet report:

  • Between 2010 and 2016 the Internet economy of the G-20 will nearly double to reach a value of $4.2 trillion and by 2016 will add 32 million jobs
  • In these markets the Internet economy will grow at an annual rate of 8% – one of the fastest growing sectors
  • The Internet economy will account for an average 5.7% of EU GDP by 2016 with the UK at 12.4%
  • 97% of commercial sellers using ecommerce platforms export
  • G-20 consumers researched online and then purchased offline more than $1.3 trillion in goods in 2010 – that is 7.8% of all consumer spending
  • In 2013 529,000 people in full-time employment are directly linked to the app economy across Europe, including 330,000 app developers

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President James Waterworth:

“While many of these numbers have been part of previous studies and reports, in an era of information overload we thought it helpful to bring together a clearer picture of how European businesses are benefitting from the Internet. Too often when we think of the economic benefits of the Internet, we think of Internet companies and forget that while they are a part of it, it’s really a sliver of the broader economic picture. “

“From “Work for Us”, an online employment app developed by a French company to European start-up hubs in London and Berlin small European businesses from start ups to app developers are innovating and filling jobs. Online software is helping small businesses keep their books, and grow their businesses. Small online retailers like Blue Water Sports of the UK and jeweler Verónica de Arriba from Andalucia have been able to quickly grow their businesses by reaching international customers inexpensively and easily.”

“We need policies in Europe that allow the Internet to thrive for the millions of traditional businesses and consumers who rely on it for collaboration, communications and customers. We hope this report illustrates why the Internet matters and will continue to contribute to recover and growth – if we let it.”

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