ZAGREB, 8 Dec (Hina) – Croatia’s IT industry has shown resilience also in the current pandemic, and in 2020 it saw revenues in the amount of HRK 28 billion and grew, though less than in 2019, going up by 3.3%. It is also looking for the status of a strategic branch considering its importance for all sectors, an analysis shows.
The analysis of the IT sector, made by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), was presented on Tuesday.
“The IT industry in Croatia employs 35,000 people or 6% more than in 2019, with the average wage having risen to around HRK 9,000, which is 60% above the average net wage in the business sector. In 2020 IT covered 5,700 companies, up 4% from 2019, which were important for digital transformation and social development. The industry could achieve more if the state improved the institutional framework and declared it a strategic branch,” HGK Vice-President for Industries and Sustainable Development Tomislav Radoš said.
In that regard, expectations from a review of the Smart Specialisation Strategy are great in the sense that it could help enhance the status of the IT industry and make it even more active in digitalisation. Three more months are left to complete the review after which we can use it in negotiations with the European Commission about money from EU funds and other matters, Radoš said.
He noted that slightly more than HRK 9 billion or 32.5% of the 2020 revenue in the IT industry were exports, an increase of one billion kuna or 13% from 2019.
The State Secretary at the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry, Mile Horvat, said that in 2022, in addition to the review of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, also expected was the adoption of a national plan for digital transformation and artificial intelligence. IT is also an important part of the National Development Strategy for the period until 2030, he added.
Share of IT in GDP 2.5%; new jobs constantly created
The HGK analysis shows that the share of the IT industry in GDP in 2020 grew to 2.5% despite the pandemic, as well as that it keeps creating new jobs, having opened 11,000 jobs in the past five years (including 2020), with 2020 alone seeing an increase in the number of new jobs of around 2,000 compared to 2019.
Most or 55% of employees in the IT industry work in IT companies that provide services, while 28.4% work in prepackaged software manufacturers and more than 6% each work with equipment and software retailers and with outsourcing providers.
Zagreb has a dominant role in the IT industry, accounting for almost 78% or HRK 21.7 billion of the revenue in the IT sector in 2020. It is followed by Istria County, with a share of 5% in the total revenue, and Zagreb County, with a share of 3%.