This was heard on Tuesday, at an online presentation of an analysis of the IT industry in the period from 2014 to 2019, or the five-year period prior to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, while figures for 2020 are not complete and are expected in the autumn. Analysts expect IT sector growth in 2020 too.
The analysis, made and presented by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), shows that the average annual increase in revenue in the IT sector in the period from 2014 to 2019 was 11.2% while revenue on foreign markets increased even faster, at a rate of 15%.
The share of exports in overall revenue in the five-year period increased from 25% to 30% in 2019 driven by a growth in market demand.
New value created by Croatia’s IT industry in 2019 amounted to HRK 8.8 billion or 15.2% more than in 2018, with its share in GDP reaching 2.1% or 0.7 percentage points higher than in 2014, the analysis shows.
There were just over 5,700 IT companies in Croatia in 2019, or 4.2% of the total number of companies in the non-financial sector, and together they employed about 33,000 people or 3.4% of the total number of those employed in the non-financial industry, with 11,000 new jobs created in that sector in the past five years.
The strength of the IT sector is also evidenced by the average monthly wage which in 2019 in Croatia amounted to just over HRK 8,500, which is 48% above the average wage in the business sector, while the export of computer services alone reached €649 million, or almost HRK 5 billion, which accounts for 4.3% of all service exports.
IT services account for more than 70% of the revenue in the IT industry in Croatia while retail accounts for 26% and production for the remaining 3%.
The state has the greatest share in IT consumption, of about 40%.
Commenting on the analysis, the president of the IT association in HGK, Goran Mrvoš, underlined its importance in achieving one of the association’s more important objectives – for IT to be recognised as a vertical industry in the strategy of smart specialisation and for higher and better investments in research and development to be enabled.
“Once that is achieved, we can expect exponential growth in the local IT industry… the data will also help us achieve better communication with institutions and partners,” said Mrvoš.
He added that state help was welcome, expressing hope that like the EU, Croatia too would plan allocating about 20% of budget funds for digitalisation and that the IT industry would absorb more funding from EU funds.
For more from the world of Croatian business, check out the TCN business section.