The European IT industry is set to create $50bn in tax revenue and two million new jobs within the next four years.
According to research from analyst firm IDC, nine million IT workers and their companies in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region are already generating more than $200bn in tax receipts. And that number is expected to grow.
"We are in the midst of an IT rebound in EMEA," said Thomas Vavra, software and consulting manager for IDC. "Western Europe was hit hard, but emerging markets have mitigated losses and are expanding.
"That's a benefit for government because it will have less unemployment expenses and there will be a number of new people in IT."
IDC surveyed 19 countries in the EMEA region. It predicted that IT spending is set to improve -- the company said that by 2008 spending would reach a value of $360bn.
"We expect that over four years we will see a representation of new jobs connected with software," said Vavra. "In many of the emerging markets, countries are moving away from infrastructure IT to software."
Vavra added that more than a third of 2004 tax revenues came about because of 'the vast Microsoft ecosystem'. He said that for every dollar of Microsoft revenue in the region, another seven and a half were generated by companies, which sell technology to run on the company's operating systems. Microsoft sponsored the IDC study.
Countries examined in the study included: the Czech Republic; Hungary; Israel; South Africa; Austria; Denmark; France; Germany and the UK among others.