[telenor] With this study we aim at estimating how the Internet will impact three countries, economically and socially over the next ten year period. Bangladesh, Serbia and Thailand span a broad geographical as well as developmental range, and may hardly seem comparable at the first sight. However, the different development levels of the three countries enable general implications to be drawn also for similar countries across the range, from the least developed to economies that are poised to join the ranks of developed economies in the near future.
The three study countries occupy different positions on the scale of Internet adoption. Currently, less than 2% of households in Bangladesh are Internet subscribers, whereas Serbia has a household penetration rate of 31%. This suggests that Internet is still in its infancy in Bangladesh, while Serbia is already in a rapid growth phase. Thailand is currently somewhere in the middle,
poised for takeoff.
In Bangladesh, Internet adoption will start accelerating first after 2018. reaching 10% in 2020., while Thailand sees rapid growth from 2014, tapering off slightly towards the end of the study period and reaching 26% in 2020. In contrast, Serbia grows at a high but decelerating rate and will be at 42% uptake in 2020.
This increasing Internet density has the potential to generate significant economic benefits. In terms of overall GDP contribution in 2020, the Internet is expected to contribute 2.6% of total GDP in Bangladesh, 3.8% in Thailand, and 5.2% in Serbia. The bulk of this contribution comes from the increased productivity that users of the Internet enjoy, in services, manufacturing as well as agriculture.
Towards a Connected World Socio-economic Impact of Internet in Emerging Economies