Brussels –The Internet is helping traditional industries in Europe remain competitive, according to a new report released by the  Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and EDiMA Wednesday. The paper “The Internet – the New Helping the Old” helps quantify the Internet’s role in the economy as an enabler of other industries.

Report author Brian Williamson of Plum Consulting, who will speak at the Tuesday morning event ahead of the panel discussions at Residence Palace, examined European productivity relating to the Internet.

“In the fifteen years leading up to 1995 Europe had faster productivity growth than the U.S.  Yet despite the comparable size of the EU and the U.S. ICT sectors, the EU has fallen behind the U.S. in terms of productivity growth in the post 1995 internet era.” Williamson said.

Research for this report suggests the difference lies in the strength of connections and in comparing the power of one worker on a computer versus the gains that can be realized from the power of many computers and workers linked together. In recent years, the U.S. has been more adept at reaping the benefits of vastly interconnected social, communications, education and business opportunities online.

Productivity gains and GDP growth are more or less synonymous, since individual people can only work so much. The only long-term source of per capita income growth, therefore, is productivity growth.

CCIA Europe Vice President James Waterworth explains why his trade association helped commission this further study:

“We have known from previous studies that 75 percent of the Internet’s benefits actually go to traditional industries, but we wanted more detail on the Internet’s previous impact on Europe’s productivity and competitiveness. Having this sort of information is useful as Europe prepares policies for a Digital Single Market. Policymakers can hopefully devise ways to reap the greatest Internet benefit for all sectors. As this report shows, the Internet is the way to maintain Europe’s industrial, social and democratic fabric.”

 

Heather Greenfield + 202-783-0070 ext 113

James Waterworth +32 2 234 78 65

jwaterworth@ccianet.org

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