IDC’s Latest IT Forum Finds Central and Eastern Europe at the Gate of the New Economy

PRAGUE – JUNE 27, 2000 – The New Economy in practice, the role of the Internet in Central and Eastern Europe, and advanced business practices for the future are among the many topics highlighted at IDC's third annual Eastern European IT Forum 2000. This year's conference The New Economy in Eastern Europe: Transitioning to a Solutions-Driven Market is currently being held in Prague, Czech Republic. Over 250 delegates are attending presentations and discussions on the latest business trends, which are generating enormous potential for the emerging markets through the New Economy.

 

"Despite the many challenges faced by both businesses and individuals, Central and Eastern Europe is forging ahead to overcome both development and investment inhibitors by cleverly adapting the latest technology to their local environments," commented Roberto Masiero, EMEA president, IDC. "In the process, foundations for the New Economy here are being laid with a fast-growing Internet sector full of entrepreneurs with bright ideas. In fact, this region represents the

fastest-growing IT market in the world ? individually many of these emerging markets have growth rates of over 20% and is increasingly crucial to the planning and marketing strategies of major IT suppliers such as IBM and Compaq."

As Europe is currently the fastest-growing Internet market worldwide, Central and Eastern Europe will profit from the Western European boom. "While in 1998 Europe had a 13% share on the global Web infrastructure spending; in 2004 the share will grow by up to 31%," said Gigi Wang,

senior vice president, IDC.

"Moreover, in 2004 Europe's Web commerce will surpass $750 billion. We will also see a shift to people with strong business experience as major drivers of Web commerce, instead of young, technology-oriented Internet entrepreneurs."

Internet market growth is a crucial factor for development of the New Economy in Central and Eastern Europe. Decreasing access fees, growth in the PC market, bandwidth boom, a proliferation of mobile telephony, new Web services, and new legislation on digital signature are among the major drivers of the Internet market throughout this region. eCommerce growth is also supported by other key factors such as: new PCs being bundled with Internet access, government initiatives to get citizens online (e.g., in Slovakia, Hungary), marketing campaigns by the leading ISPs, and the growing popularity of online banking.

"The New Economy brings important implications for the Central and Eastern European region where IT spending value grew to $9.66 billion in 1999," said Steven Frantzen, managing director, IDC East Central Europe. "The New Economy will position itself as the major economic growth driver with the introduction of new services, a communications boom, enterprise reorganization, IT penetration in new sectors as well as government reform. Companies in the the region will have to go through restructuring of the supply chain, distribution channels, and customer sales and support."

In East/East Central Europe, IDC retains a coordinated network of offices and agents located in Budapest, Moscow, Sofia, Warsaw, and Zagreb, supported by a regional center based in Prague.

Forthcoming events

* The European IT Forum – Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, 11-12 September 2000. For further details, see http://emea.idc.com/forum/forum2000 * The European IT Banking Forum – Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan, 27-28 November 2000. For further details, see http://emea.idc.com/forum/banking00

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide.

IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.