The Hrvatski Telekom (HT) Group made a direct contribution of 3% to Croatia’s GDP and directly employed 5,000 people in 2018.
However, the company says that its indirectly the contribution was significantly higher. Quoting Digital Atlas, it adds that the group contributed directly and indirectly with HRK11.3 billion (€1.5 billion) in induced income last year, created 30,200 jobs and generated HRK3.26 billion in taxes and social contributions.
With smart investment in digital infrastructure, HT has enabled the company to increase its gross value added from HRK 8.95 to HRK 9.77 billion in the three years from 2015 to 2018, or 9.2% an absolute contribution to GDP, by 7.8%, a contribution to the total number of employees in the economy by as much as 11.1% and a contribution to budget revenues by 2.5%.
As noted by Digital Atlas, all this was achieved despite the significant decrease in the prices of telecom services of HT during this period.
Commenting on HT’s performance, Kostas Nebis, CEO of HT, said: “We see our role as a game changer in the Croatian society, bringing the benefits of digitalisation to everyone so that they are able to make the most of their lives. In last four years, we have invested more than HRK7.5 billion in Croatia’s digital infrastructure so that everyone in Croatia could take advantage of the opportunities modern technology provides. We have the best network in Croatia and among the best in Europe. Thanks to the advanced infrastructure and the digital solutions we develop, we enable everyone in Croatia enjoy the benefits of a truly liberated internet, help businesses be more productive and public sector offer better quality services to the citizens. We want to invest more in technologies such as optics and 5G that can accelerate country’s digitisation to effectively compete with the digital front-runners of the world. To achieve this, it is necessary to improve the business environment for investing in digital infrastructure, to reduce parafiscal charges particularly right of way fees. In HT, we commit that every kuna saved in fees will be re-invested back in infrastructure. By doing so, we want to support Croatia on its path to development in a digital economy and create a world of better opportunities for all citizens”.
HT was among the first telecoms in Europe to introduce 1 Gbps Internet speeds, the first in the region to launch a commercial network for connected NB-IoT devices, digitalised more than 30% of domestic businesses and virtualised more than 25,000 jobs. HT has also built the largest cloud infrastructure in Croatia and implemented over 10 large projects in the Smart Cities segment.
Maruska Vizek, the director of the Institute of Economics, Zagreb, added: “The results of the study suggest the increase of available Internet speed, as a result of Hrvatski Telekom investments into the fixed network, has larger positive effect on business performance of domestic enterprises in Croatia when compared to foreign-owned enterprises. In addition, the increase of available Internet speed has a more favourable impact on productivity of enterprises in underdeveloped areas of the country and facilitates digital entrepreneurship as it induces the establishment of new digitally intensive companies.”