By Andrew Cunajev
According to various estimations in 2002, the Baltic state IT market amounted to half a billion to one billion US dollars. Half of this entire amount accounted to the IT services market. Nevertheless, it is quite impossible to evaluate the precise scope of the Baltic IT market
The British magazine Enterprise Europe claims that during the last five years, the IT service market in the Baltic States has grown from practically nothing to 527.5 million US dollars in 2002. According to the magazine, last year the total Baltic IT market amounted to 1 – 1.3 billion US dollars, but the exact value of the market is unknown because of insufficient research.
The Finnish Centre of Technological research is slightly more pessimistic. According to the evaluation of experts, the Baltic state IT market in 2002 amounted to only 528.1 million US dollars, 165.2 million US dollars of which was for services. Nevertheless, many participants of the market assess these figures as too low.
According to research by the Finnish Centre of Technological research, in 2001, the whole IT and telecommunication (ITT) market in Lithuania amounted to 1.3 billion US dollars, in Latvia – 630.9 million US dollars and in Estonia – 235.3 million US dollars.
Undoubtedly, the leader of the IT market in the Baltic States is the Estonian Microlink group. According to the data of Enterprise Europe, there are 640 employees in this company with its branches in all three states.
Sales revenue for the largest Lithuanian IT group Sonex, which employs around 400 people, amounted to 145 million litas in 2002, and tax receipts were 5.2 million litas. Enterprise Europe writes that a large part of Sonex sales revenues are still gained from the sale of computer equipment, but last year revenues from the service sector with its 60 employees amounted to 17 million US dollars. The company itself reported to the LETA news agency that it has provided IT services worth 36 million litas to its clients.
Last year, the estimated sales revenue of Lithuanian IT company Alna, which employs around 260 people, exceeded 80 million litas, and tax receipts should amount to nearly 5.3 million US dollars. According to Enterprise Europe, in comparison with other IT companies in the Baltic States, Alna had the largest tax receipts. It is also true that a large part of the profit from Alma was gained due to the sale its Navision Software Baltic company.
The sales revenues for the Latvian leader of software development, Dati Grupa, are estimated to amount to 14.8 million US dollars, with tax receipts – 1 million US dollars.
Last year, Finland was named the most developed information society in the world. Evidence of this is in the data for the period of 2002 – 2003, gathered in the international research Global Information Technology Report in February by the World Economic forum. The United States of America, which up to now has been the leader of the field, gave way to Finland, leaving Singapore and Sweden behind. The former “silver medallist” Iceland is now in fifth place. Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Taiwan and Germany follow Iceland in this list of the 82 most developed information societies.
In the released international list of 82 countries in terms of IT development, Estonia was ranked 24th place, Latvia 38th and Lithuania 46th. Estonia was just behind such countries as Ireland (21st place), Belgium (22nd) and New Zealand (23rd).
Research was carried out by professor Sumitra Dutta of the Insead international business university, branch head Bruno Lanven at the World Bank, and economist Fiona Paua of the World Economic forum. Research indicators included aspects like provision and use of IT services for private and corporate clients, as well as the public sector.