The Croatian technology industry continues to progress.
Croatian IT industry is one of those unusual phenomena – although there are many things which are far from perfect, it continues to grow. Despite all the difficulties it is one of the best sectors of Croatian economy, especially since a large part of it is focused on exports, reports Novi List on August 23, 2015.
ICT sector in Croatia has annual revenues of around 21 billion kuna. If we compare this with American ICT giants and their earnings, the figure does not look impressive. But, in these parts of the world companies such as American software and hardware giants simply cannot exist. And especially not their profits. Realistically speaking, Croatian ICT sector is actually doing quite well and keeps growing by about ten percent per year.
“The interesting fact about this sector is that even in the recessionary years all the main trends in the sector are positive: growth of exports and number of employees. Exports of software and IT services have grown in the last two years by as much as 45 percent and have reached 1.87 billion kuna”, said Adrian Ježina, head of the Association of the ICT Sector in the Croatian Association of Employers. Ježina believes that the key to this success lies in innovation skills of local IT companies and professionals. And that in itself creates a significant potential for the future. The export of software is particularly interesting since it shows that Croatia has the “know-how” which is needed to foreign companies and markets.
In today’s world, ICT and the digital economy have no alternative. It is simply not possible to have a competitive economy without ICT which is both a separate industrial sector and is simultaneously horizontally present in all other industries. The facts show that ICT is one of the most propulsive sectors of the Croatian economy. The sector accounts for 21 billion kuna and directly employs more than 22,000 people, with around ten thousand additional ICT professionals who work in companies engaged in other industries.
“Progress is obvious, but there are problems with implementing changes which affect our competitiveness in relation to other countries. For example, the Law of the State Information Infrastructure was passed a year ago, but is not being implemented due to the slow adoption of the regulatory framework”, said Ježina. “We believe that ICT cannot operate through individual projects but that a constant focus is needed. We have repeatedly suggested that the government should introduce a ministerial level post of chief information officer. We welcome the recent decision of the government on the establishment of the National Council for the Digital Economy.”
However, not all problems are a result of government decisions. A project which was supposed to stimulate the development of IT infrastructure in rural areas, which still have poor internet connection, was hindered by Germany, using even political pressure. The intention of the government to establish a national cable infrastructure, including islands and mountainous areas, was largely sabotaged by Deutsche Telekom, which probably considered that it might lose part of its revenues. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel intervened in this matter, so further development of IT infrastructure was simply stopped.