One-third of German-based Service Providers of the Information Society – an economic sector that includes ICT service providers as well as knowledge-intensive service providers – export their services abroad. "For these firms, German-speaking foreign countries represent the most important export market, followed by the rest of Western Europe", says Jenny Meyer, a researcher at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim.

More than 90 percent of knowledge-intensive service providers – a category that encompasses tax consulting and auditing, management consulting, architecture, technical consulting and planning, research and development as well as advertising – who export their services do so to German-speaking foreign countries. In the case of ICT service providers – including software companies, ICT dealers as well as IT and telecommunications service providers – Western Europe (excluding Austria and Switzerland) is the most important export region. Approximately 87 percent of these companies export to Western Europe. This is the result of a business survey in the sector service providers of the information society conducted by the ZEW in cooperation with the credit reference agency Creditreform, Neuss, in November and December 2008 (see the end of this press release for more details about the survey).

Eastern Europe is the third most important export region for Service Providers of the Information Society based in Germany. Approximately 56 percent of exporting service providers are active in this region. Knowledge-intensive service providers, however, are much more engaged in Eastern Europe than ICT service providers. Around 60 percent of knowledge-intensive service providers export to Eastern Europe; this figure is only 43 percent for ICT service providers. North America is the fourth most important export market for information society service providers; 46 percent of companies export to this region. Asia, Africa and other countries and regions play a relatively minor role, particularly for ICT service providers. Among knowledge-intensive service providers, approximately 29 percent export their services to Africa, 45 percent to Asia and 35 percent to other countries and regions. Among ICT service providers, these figures are lower: less than 25 percent export to Asia or other countries and regions, and less than 10 percent to Africa.

The business survey by ZEW/Creditreform

Approximately 1,000 companies participate in the survey, which is conducted on a quarterly basis. The economic sector of information society service providers consists of information and communications technology (ICT) service providers (firms active in the software, ICT specialised trade, IT and telecommunications industries) and knowledge-intensive service providers (firms active in tax consulting and auditing, management consulting, architecture, technical consulting and planning, research and development as well as advertising). For further information in German language only, please consult our homepage at www.zew.de/dienstleister.

Note on statistical projections

The Centre for European Economic Research generates a representative analysis for the surveyed sector based on the answers provided by the participating firms.

For further information please contact

Dr. Jenny Meyer, E-mail: meyer@zew.de

Date

14.01.2009

Contact

Press Officer

Phone: +49 0621 1235-133

sabine.elbert@zew.de