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Friday 23.02.2018 | Name days: Haralds, Almants
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ICT boosts economic development

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Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are playing a huge role in the European Union (EU) long-term strategy Europe 2020.

Both local and foreign experts speaking at the international forum going local in Riga agreed that ICT is crucial in promoting economic competitiveness.

Digital technologies and the possibilities they offer indeed boost competitiveness of a country, experts say.

According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), technologies and the internet will play an even bigger role on national economies by 2016. Their influence will increase by 11% to 4.2 trillion dollars in economically developed countries and the European Union.

An open, predictable and business-friendly environment for the development of electronic services is crucial in boosting competitiveness and economic growth, says David Dean, BCG Senior Partner and Managing Director.

“In 2010, the Latvian ICT sector contributed 3.6% to the GDP, while the turnover exceeded 2 billion euro. Besides, the Latvian ICT sector employs more than 20 000 people. Not only these numbers but also the latest trends show that the industry has a great growth and export potential,” says Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts.

According to him, the Latvian ICT sector is characterized not only by many world-class companies, but also a number of start-ups, which have found their niches and are competing successfully also beyond the European market.

“One of the main tasks of the Ministry of Economy is to provide support for entrepreneurs at all stages of the business and the innovation process,” he said.

To develop ICT Latvia has already taken specific steps. The country is one of the leading EU countries in terms of regular Internet users. 66% of the Latvian population use the net on regular basis. Compared with 2010, the number of Internet users was up 6% last year, members of the forum said.

“Both in Europe and Latvia e-skills are essential for future economic development and competitiveness. Therefore, at present it is important to promote public discussion of the e-environment and electronic resources,” stressed Signe Balina, President of the Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association.

Development and use of ICT are among the main conditions for the overall European development. ICT must be accessible to all citizens in order to promote e-skills and enhance internet security, says Anna Maria Darmanin, Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee.

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