Internet – A Path to Economic Transformation
As the Internet adoption grows as are the economies. Economies around the globe are experiencing double-digit increases in Internet penetration rates year on year, resulting in rapid rates of GDP growth simultaneously. Several recent global studies have affirmed the fact that the Internet is transforming global and local economies in positive ways.
In context to developing countries, access to mobile phone and the Internet is now considered more valuable than access to other utility services. Having access to more information through these communication channels is empowering the individuals in emerging economies to enter the world market. According to statistics, 2.6 jobs are created for every job destroyed by Internet technologies. The Internet is accounted for 21 percent of the GDP growth in mature economies over the past 5 years giving a clear indication to developing ones to follow suit. While large enterprises and national economies have reaped major benefits from this technological revolution, individual consumers and upstart entrepreneurs have been some of the greatest beneficiary form the Internet’s empowering influence.
As the Internet continues to evolve, it will bring many more technological innovations and enabling capabilities such as payment platforms. From the obscure network of researchers and technology experts two decades ago, the Internet has now became a day-to-day reality for near 2 Billion of the world population. These 2 Billion connected individuals share almost USD 8 trillion each year through e-commerce.
Across a range of large and developed nations, the Internet exerts a strong power on economical transformation. Global researches show that if Internet consumption and expenditures were a sector, its weight in GDP would be bigger than the energy or agriculture industry. The Internet’s total contribution to global GDP is bigger than the GDP of Spain or Canada, growing faster than the GDP of Brazil.
In countries such as Turkey, Malaysia and Mexico, where both Internet usage and GDP per capital fall within the medium range on the global scale, the Internet has contributed substantially to economic growth. There is also a clear connection between maturity of the Internet and rising living standards. The increase in this maturity in advanced countries during the last 15 years correlates with an increase in real per capita GDP of USD 500. It took 50 years for the industrial revolution of the 19th century to achieve the same results!. This demonstrates both the magnitude of the positive impact of the Internet delivers to all levels of the society and the speed at which it delivers them. The correlation to increased living standards is particularly relevant for developing countries, where the potential exist to rapidly leap forward and drive Internet-related economic growth.
The Internet can also serve as a powerful catalyst for job creation, although the Internet has also made some jobs obsolete. A detail analysis of French economy showed that while the Internet is reported to have destroyed 500,000 jobs over the past 15 years, it created 1.2 million new ones, a net addition of 2.4 job for every one destroyed.
Across a range of industries, large businesses have created a significant value from dynamic, diversified supply chains, global talent sourcing and analysis of large data sets. They have increasingly engaged customers, incorporating their feedback into product innovations and streamlining their research pipelines. While the Internet triggers performance improvements in large businesses, the influence is even more profound among SMEs and start-us. In a recent survey of more than 4,800 SMEs in 12 countries, it was found that businesses utilizing Web technologies grew more than twice as fast as those with a minimal Web presence. Furthermore, Internet-based SMEs brought in more than twice as much revenue through export as a percentage of total sales than those that used the Internet cautiously.
As a result of all that is stated above, governments, policy makers and businesses must recognize and endorse the enormous opportunities the Internet can create, even as they work to address the risks to security and privacy, brought by Internet. As the Internet’s evolution over the past two decades has demonstrated, such work must also include nurturing the development of an open and healthy Internet ecosystem, one that boosts infrastructure and access, builds a competivitive environment that benefits users and maximizing the real impact of the Internet on economic growth and prosperity of a country. The promising game changer is broadband access, with accessible bandwidth now large enough for the transmission of Internet data and video, such socioeconomic possibilities are becoming huge as ever.