Written on the 6 September 2011


DELOITTE Access Economics data indicates that the Internet contributed 3.6 per cent or $50 billion to Australia’s economy in 2010.

ADDING up the value of the Internet reveals that it has already become as big as iron-ore exports, according to the report.

The Connected Continent: How the Internet is Transforming Australia’s Economy, estimates that the Internet contributed $50 billion, or 3.6 per cent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product in 2010 and that contribution is primed to boom. The report forecasts the Internet’s contribution to Australia’s GDP will grow by around 7 per cent a year to reach $70 billion by 2016.

Managing director of Google Australia & New Zealand Nick Leeder, commissioned the report.

“The value of the digital economy in Australia has never been measured before. The report shows that Australia’s investments in the Internet have already paid off enormously well and we see those benefits touching households and businesses of all sizes across the country,” he says.

Deloitte Access Economics director Ric Simes, says even more important than the direct impact of the internet on Australia’s GDP in numerical terms are the wider benefits that are not fully captured in
the GDP.

“The internet saves people time through activities like online banking and provides access to a much greater variety of goods, services, and information. It transforms the way business and government function,”
he says.

“The internet is having a profound effect on how the economy and society works in many ways that we don’t fully yet understand.”

According to a survey commissioned as part of the report, almost every Australian business is an Internet business.

The shift in value that is occurring according to the report is from a simple use of the internet for efficiency and productivity in supply management, finance, email and communications to the more complex value derived through reaching out to consumers via new channels through the internet and interactive web sites that have just begun to fully exploit the potential of the Internet.

CEO of Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Suzanne Campbell, says every Australian benefits from the digital economy.

“In the coming years, as Internet access improves and technology innovation drives productivity growth, Australia can expect an economy-wide boom which will help to secure our continued prosperity and success as a nation,” says Campbell.






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