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3 Billion People Will Be Online By 2016

Sites include . Published on February 4th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

Many believe that traditional markets will move more and more online as more and more people become connected to the World Wide Web. This view seems to be gaining traction among academics and think-tanks too, as evidenced by data presented recently at the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The forum set in the usual cold climes of Davos, greeted warmly the news that the world economy could see some much needed injection of life with the emergence of global internet technologies, wider markets and greater levels of online commerce. The first of such reports came from The Boston Consulting group’s (BCG) Digital Manifesto. The manifesto makes the bold prediction that by 2016, the world’s top-twenty internet economies will be worth around $4.2 trillion.

Driving this expected growth in the size of the world internet economy is the 3 billion people are so that are expected to make up the world’s full cadre of web users. According to BCG, by 2016 more than half the world’s population will be online.

The second report that got people talking was presented by McKinsey & Co. who highlighted the fact that the internet contributes more than 1.9% to the GDP of more than 30 countries from around the world. That figure is expected to grow as more and more countries (especially in the developing world) join the internet party and start spending money online.

Both reports offer a silver lining to what is otherwise a damp forum, but more than that, I think it highlights the fact that putting the clamps on the internet (think SOPA and PIPA) will not produce the positive effects that the reports are predicting.

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