The Business Software Alliance (BSA) held its first Annual Meeting outside the United States in Beijing yesterday.

Top executives from BSA member companies congregated at the Kerry Centre Hotel to mark the start of a two-day conference which seeks to define the association's agenda and strategy for the year.

As part of a long term commitment to the development of the local software industry, BSA commissioned a study, which was conducted by IDC, a leading global research firm, to measure the contribution of software and IT services industries to the growth of China's economy.

The report, which was released yesterday, found that the growth of the industry thus far had been the result of the collaborative efforts between international and local companies. The IT sector was found to be of increasing importance to the growth of the Chinese economy. From a 2% contribution by the IT sector to the GDP in 1989, its importance had grown by 500%, accounting for almost 10% of GDP growth in 2005. Spending on IT in China had also grown at a rate of 12% in 2005.

IDC estimated that for every dollar of revenue generated by international suppliers, at least $2.50 of revenue is generated by local suppliers through locally developed software and IT services on both local and international platforms.

Of the 500,000 new software-related jobs created between 2003 and 2006, half are accrued to local suppliers, and half to international suppliers. Software-related employment is growing at almost 20% a year among local suppliers, and at 17% among international suppliers.

Robert Holleyman, President and CEO of BSA, said, "Our decision to select Beijing as the venue of our Annual Meeting this year is a reflection of our members' interest in China. We are committed to working with the Chinese government and the local IT industry in encouraging continued growth of the tech industry and the future of innovation."

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