Report: Internet accounts for almost one tenth of Finland´s GDP

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 22.3.2012 13.30
Press release

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has produced a report on the role played by the Internet in the Finnish economy. According to the report, compiled by Etlatieto Oy, the Internet accounts for nine per cent of the Finnish economy.

In a comparison of eight countries, Finland was ranked number one. In the countries examined in the report, the Internet accounted for between four and nine per cent of the gross domestic product. Finland was well ahead of Sweden and the United States, which came second and third, respectively.

The other countries included in the report were Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

An export surplus in information and communications technology (ICT) products and services contributed significantly to Finland's good performance. The surplus in the trade of services was a particularly important factor. The comparison suggests that Finland is better at offering ICT that at using it.

The concept of a global information network covers the physical network infrastructure and terminal equipment, and digital software, services and contents at different levels and in different forms. The report concludes that as a result of the harmonisation process of recent years, the Internet means increasingly the same as ICT-related supply and consumption in general.

According to the research team, there are hardly any economic or other social dimensions that would not be influenced by the Internet. The team points out, however, that it is an exaggeration to claim that everything is part of the Internet economy.

Even though the necessary basis for extensive use of the Internet in leisure and non-leisure activities exists, only a fraction of its potential has been identified or exploited so far. The potential of the Internet and ICT can be exploited in connection with opportunities that have already been identified and opportunities that will only become known through innovation.

The report states that the government can promote the use of the Internet in non-leisure activities both directly and indirectly. In addition to issues directly connected with the Internet infrastructure and contents, such matters as the protection of intellectual property rights and the openness of public information also have a significant impact on the ultimate benefits of the Internet.

Further information

Mr Ismo Kosonen, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 511 6601
Mr Petri Rouvinen, Research Director, Etlatieto Oy, tel. +358 50 367 3474