New Study Predicts Global Information Technology Spending To Reach US$3 Trillion in 2003

June 14, 2000

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Bob Cohen
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Tinabeth Burton
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Taipei, Taiwan - A major new study of the world's information and communication technology (ICT) spending reveals that the global high tech industry surged to over $2.1 trillion in 1999, and is expected to surpass $3 trillion in 2003. The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) released top-level findings today of Digital Planet 2000: The Global Information Economy at the World Congress on Information Technology in Taipei, Taiwan.

Produced by WITSA in cooperation with the International Data Corporation (IDC), Digital Planet 2000: The Global Information Economy provides the most recent, comprehensive data documenting the size and shape of the ICT marketplace around the globe. The study findings are based on data gathered in the 55 largest ICT buying countries and regions. In aggregate, this group represents 98 percent of worldwide ICT spending. Digital Planet2000 data encompasses spending on computer hardware, software and services, telecommunications hardware and services, office equipment and internal IT spending, which includes company expenditures on IT employees, capital depreciation and the internal portion of ICT spending budgets.

"Information and communications technology is a fast growing market in the global society," said WITSA President Harris N. Miller. "With an annual growth rate of 9 percent - faster than the growth rate of global GDP - ICT continues to outpace most economic sectors and the potential for future growth is still extraordinary."

Miller added, "Digital Planet 2000 tells an important story about the digital opportunity presented by emerging markets in ICT because it encompasses eight years of spending data. Growth in ICT spending in Eastern Europe and Latin America both reached 42 percent between 1997 and 1999, far outpacing the mature markets of Western Europe and North America, which saw growth of 13 and 15 percent respectively during the same period. "

Other study findings:

  • The top ten information economies represent 80 percent of the global ICT market;
  • The total number of Internet devices worldwide grew to 260 million in 1999, adding 90 million in that year alone;
  • PCs installed in schools, homes and businesses reached nearly 400 million by 1999, with the number of PCs installed in classrooms tripling between 1992 and 1999;
  • North America as a region continues to lead the globe in overall ICT spending, which reached $796 billion in 1999; Eastern Europe was the region spending the least with $30 billion the same year;
  • The Middle East and Africa saw spending growth of 26 percent between 1997 and 1999;
  • ICT spending in the Asia Pacific Region grew 18 percent between 1997 and 1999;
  • Sweden led the world in ICT spending as a percentage of GDP, at 9.6 percent;
  • Switzerland spent over $3,200 per person on ICT in 1999 - the highest nation per capita, while the United States came in third at $2,717 per person in 1999.

Published by WITSA, the full report, Digital Planet 2000: The Global Information Economy will be available in September, 2000. An executive summary is available free on the web at Digital Planet 2000: The Global Information Economy is made possible by sponsorship from NASDAQ AMEX, AIG, MERANT and Satyam Computer Services Ltd. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Brandi Vondenkamp at


The World Information Technology and Services Alliance is a consortium of 41 information technology (IT) industry associations from economies around the world. As the global voice of the IT industry, WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance the industry's growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in IT products and services; strengthening WITSA's national industry associations through the sharing of knowledge, experience, and critical information; providing members with a vast network of contacts in nearly every geographic region of the world; and hosting the World Congress on IT, the only industry sponsored global IT event. Founded in 1978 and originally known as the World Computing Services Industry Association, WITSA has increasingly assumed an active advocacy role in international public policy issues affecting the creation of a robust global information infrastructure. For additional information about WITSA and its activities, go to

The WITSA Secretariat is currently hosted by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). For more information about ITAA, please visit its web site at

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