Oleksandr Vilkul, Vice Prime Minister together with Dmitry Sholomko, Director of Google in Ukraine and William Fitzgerald, Director of Google Strategic Planning in Public Policy and Communications, have presented the results of the study “Impact of the Internet on the economy of Ukraine”, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
The study finds the technologic opportunities of Internet access created in Ukraine to be at an advanced level. Some 90% of companies have high-speed Internet. 62% of Ukrainian companies have their own website, 49% place personal information on online directories, 22% use pages in social networks and 12% of companies use online trading through online stores.
Experts say 1,500 new online shops appeared in Ukraine during 2013, 1.5 times more than last year. Ukraine’s total turnover of e-commerce amounted to 47.5 billion UAH, up 7% this year. This trend of industry growth will continue in the future, analysts say, because the government provided incentives for IT-companies. The new rules provide for VAT exemption for IT services, 5% profit and income tax for IT companies.
The domestic IT-industry can be the engine that drives Ukraine’s economy, although the contribution of industry to GDP of Ukraine at this stage is minor – about 0.8%, experts say. The IT-sector includes about 2,000 companies, whose total gross income is about 12 billion UAH. A number of highly qualified professionals working in the industry is ranging from 150,000 to 200,000 people.
As of October this year, Ukraine’s IT sector has absorbed more than USD 2 billion in foreign investment, the State Agency of Ukraine for Science, Innovation and Informatization said in a statement Wednesday.
“There is an increase in foreign direct investment in Ukraine’s information and telecommunications sector … According to the State Statistics Service, as of October the Ukrainian IT industry has absorbed USD 2,082 billion in foreign investment. As of January 1 this year, the amount of foreign equity capital in the IT sector was USD 1,994 billion,” the report reads.
The Agency noted that in H1/2013 Ukraine increased exports of computer services by 44%. It is expected that by the end of the year the export of products in the field of information technology from Ukraine will reach about USD 1.8 billion (against about USD 800 million last year). “According to this index, our country is among the top five in the region of Central and Eastern Europe,” the statement said.