BUSINESS IN SHORT

ICT sector blows its own trumpet

THE AUTOMOTIVE or electro-technical industries usually jump to mind as the main engines of Slovakia’s economy but representatives of the Slovak IT Association (ITAS) said on February 8 that the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is not part of this ‘ranking’ even though it outperforms the automotive industry in many important indicators. The association introduced a study prepared by INESS Consult about the importance of the ICT sector to the Slovak economy that was commissioned by ITAS.

THE AUTOMOTIVE or electro-technical industries usually jump to mind as the main engines of Slovakia’s economy but representatives of the Slovak IT Association (ITAS) said on February 8 that the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is not part of this ‘ranking’ even though it outperforms the automotive industry in many important indicators. The association introduced a study prepared by INESS Consult about the importance of the ICT sector to the Slovak economy that was commissioned by ITAS.

“This study has confirmed our assumptions that the ICT industry is an important pillar of Slovakia’s economy,” said Juraj Sabaka, the president of ITAS. “It has grown here on a green field with minimal state support and it now employs tens of thousands of people generating products and services with a high added value.”

Sabaka added that the purpose of the study was not to initiate an inflow of state stimuli into the ICT sector but to show that with minimal interventions from the state (positive or negative) a thriving industrial branch can emerge that generates benefits for the whole of society.

The study reported that Slovakia’s ICT sector employs almost 40,000 people, with nearly 30,000 of these employees working in the basic ICT sector, excluding publishing, audiovisual, and radio activities. The report noted that the average monthly salary in the ICT sector is €1,500 and that employees in the ICT sector pay more in payroll taxes than do the workers in the automotive industry. Furthermore, the analysis stated that ICT companies paid income taxes of more than €170 million in 2009 and that this was more than the entire manufacturing industry and 50 times more than the automotive industry.


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