Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/18/2014 -- Croatia's entrance into the EU was completed in July 2013, and this should be a key driver of ICT growth, facilitating increased trade between European markets. Over the next five years, the process of EU convergence, which still has far to go, will drive spending on IT projects. Funds such as the EU Cohesion fund are already providing funding for IT projects related to modernisation initiatives in both public and business segments. However, a modest recovery in private consumption will be insufficient to drive a significant economic recovery in Croatia in 2014, with fiscal consolidation and weak investment spending set to weigh on headline growth at just 0.6% in 2014. As the government remains the major investor in ICT in Croatia, our IT forecast is subject to downside risk and IT spending levels are not expected to be regained until towards the end of our five-year forecast period.
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- The government is expected to be the fastest-growing Croatian IT spending vertical over the 2013-2017 period, due largely to EU-driven modernisation projects, which could see the government's IT spend double by 2015. The combined government sector also remains the largest spender on IT products and services, unsurprising bearing in mind that the state still owns a wide range of companies across sectors like transport, telecoms, oil and gas, media and insurance.
- Communications is another of the largest IT-spending verticals in Croatia, accounting for around 25% of total ICT spending. Telecoms companies such as Vipnet are rolling out LTE mobile services, which will continue to drive IT spending on both the Capex and Opex sides. IT spending accounts typically for around 20% of total Croatian bank Capex/Opex spending. In 2013, spending on IT will be driven by support of new services and customer acquisition and key trends will include mobile banking.
- Tablets should also receive a boost from the roll-out of high-speed mobile networks in the country. BMI estimates that tablets will capture around 20% of the Croatian PC market in 2013 in terms of volume, although this will depend in large part upon pricing. Tablets have already emerged from their early-adopter phase and while they are not yet mainstream devices, take-up will grow as more services tailored to tablets are introduced in Croatia.
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