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Serbia’s ICT sector surges despite global layoffs

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Despite global economic challenges and layoffs, Serbia’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry remains the fastest-growing sector in the country. Traditionally recognized as a hub for outsourcing, Serbia has evolved into a significant player in product development. The ICT sector now stands as Serbia’s leading export branch, boasting the largest surplus and fastest growth. In 2023, exports reached 3.44 billion euros, representing a 27% increase from the previous year.

This growth is paralleled by an expansion in the workforce, with the number of employees in the ICT sector increasing from approximately 56,000 in 2016 to 110,000 in the previous year. Notably, Serbia exports high-tech services to countries such as the USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, and Germany.

Mihajlo Poštić, Director of Luxoft in Serbia, emphasizes the need to maintain the favorable business environment created by the Serbian government, including tax incentives and other reliefs that have contributed to the sector’s success.

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Despite the global economic downturn and mass layoffs by major companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta, the ICT sector in Serbia has demonstrated resilience. While there was a decrease in job advertisements globally, Serbia experienced only a two percent layoff rate in the sector.

Serbia is recognized as one of the top 20 European IT ecosystems for talent availability, according to research by Startup Genome. The country’s advantages, including state subsidies and international connections, make it an attractive destination for startups in the ICT industry.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić emphasizes Serbia’s commitment to fostering innovation, information technology, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. The government, in collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, is investing in innovations, scientific infrastructure, and the development of science and technology parks.

Insiders stress the importance of raising awareness about the significance of information technologies for the economy, continued state incentives, and an increased focus on education and training to sustain the growth of Serbia’s high-tech industry.

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