ICT contributing 5 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP: report

Government report finds that the industry now employs 73,392 Kiwis

The New Zealand ICT industry added 1630 new jobs in 2012 and now contributes 5 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to a new government report.

The <i>ICT Report</i> was released by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and ICT Minister Amy Adams this week.

It found that half of all IT firms expanded in 2012 while a third undertook research and development. The average spend on R&D was NZ$1.1 million.

Exports of computer and information services had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 per cent during the period 2006-2012.

“If this trend continues, New Zealand will become a net-exporter of computer services in the next few years,” read the report.

Australia and North America were the major markets for NZ IT exports. However, the study noted that exporters were reporting finance and distance as barriers.

According to the report, 73,392 New Zealanders work in the ICT industry but a big issue for companies is attracting enough skilled graduates.

Adams said the number of full time student places at degree level in New Zealand has grown by 22 per cent over the last two years while the number of degree graduates with IT specialities is predicted to increase from 1200 in 2011 to between 1600 and 1900 annually by 2014.

“That sort of growth will need to continue in the years ahead,” she said in statement.

“Digital technologies are revolutionising business in every area, and some outstanding New Zealand companies are leading the way.”

The report also mentioned 60 specific initiatives the government is implementing under its business growth agenda to help ICT businesses and exporters expand internationally.

These include improvements to business R&D grants, expanded co-funding and the roll out of ultra-fast broadband (UFB) to 75 per cent of New Zealanders by 2019.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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Tags ICT jobsSteven JoyceAmy AdamsNew Zealand ICT

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