Serbia, The value of the domestic IT market is estimated at 736 million euros, News
The authors of the study “ICT In Serbia At a Glance 2022” estimated that the domestic IT market reached a value of 736 million euros in 2021, with a growth of nine percent compared to 2020, while investments in the IT sector exceeded the “psychological limit from 100 euros and reached 108 euros per inhabitant.
Co-author of the study and director of the Vojvodina ICT cluster, Milan Solaja, in an interview with Biznis.rs, points out that the new goal should be to increase investments to 150 euros per inhabitant, that is, for the value of our IT market to reach one billion euros in 2025.
In the study, which is a cross-section of the situation in the domestic ICT sector, it was stated that the domestic IT market has recorded constant growth for four years in a row, and that it is currently at a historical maximum. Šolaja, who prepared the study together with the director of the company Mineco Computers Milovan Matijević, indicates for our portal that these are good results, but that Serbia must have greater ambitions.
” The European average investment in IT per inhabitant is 900 euros, and the average investment in the countries that joined the EU in 2004 should serve as a benchmark, which is 150 euros per inhabitant.” It is a minimum threshold that indicates that some economy is developing more seriously and adopting European standards,” said Solaja.
He also reminded that for a long time we have been “dealing” with the value of the IT market below half a billion euros, only to record double-digit growth in the last four years. The goal, according to him, must be the value of the IT market of one billion euros by 2025, which implies the growth of IT investments from two to three percent of GDP.
“To narrow the digital gap in Serbia, the average annual growth rate of the IT market needs to be higher than 10 percent by 2025,” the study states.
When it comes to revenue, the IT industry generated revenue of nearly four billion euros in 2021, which is an 18 percent increase compared to 2020, while the revenue from IT business alone amounted to three billion euros, while the difference is the result “other” activities in the IT sector. The largest share in total industry revenues (45 percent) was achieved by the software subsector, with a value of 1.8 billion euros.
“It is a good indicator, because the software sector has the strongest growth, and it also means that we are investing more in software solutions than before.” We need to increase the competitiveness of domestic companies and their ability to conquer new markets, and information technologies enable the work to be done not only faster and more efficiently, but also in an innovative way,” said Solaja.
The state is the largest investor in domestic IT
When it comes to investments, the state was the largest investor in the IT market with 190.4 million euros in 2021, and together with public companies, which spent 65.3 million euros on the IT market, it is responsible for a third of the investments in that sector . When it comes to the rest of the economy, the processing sector is responsible for 11.5 percent of IT investments, the communications and media sector for 10.6 percent, the financial sector for nine percent, while the lowest share of IT investments is currently in mining and agriculture.
For Solaja, these are indicators of the attitude towards the problem of the competitiveness of the domestic economy.
“Digital transformation cannot be implemented if the management of the company does not stand behind such a decision. Also, digital skills are essential. We can have as many domestic IT companies that export their solutions all over the world, it’s a shame if they can’t sell them in Serbia because there is no ‘knowledge base’ that can apply it, and that’s why we need to work on the development of citizens’ digital skills. Therefore, we must have the ‘hardware’ in order for the software to work,” said Solaja in an interview with Biznis.rs.
The average salary of a software exporter is 2,560 euros
In 2021, a total of 3,768 companies made up the domestic IT industry, which employed 48,173 workers or two percent of the total workforce in Serbia.
Software export companies employ half of the total number of employees in the domestic IT industry, and the average salary in software exporters is 2,560 euros, which is higher than the average salary in the subsector of software producers, which was 2,383 euros.
Sholaja warns that there is still a disparity in the production and demand of personnel, while the study points out that the challenge of further growth of that sector lies in the fact that the education system manages to create 4,000 ICT experts each year, while the demand is more than 7,000 experts.
“Intensive and massive retraining and training are needed, because this is the only way to maintain the existing pace of growth of the IT sector and reach the number of 70,000 employees in that field in 2025”, is the conclusion of the study “ICT In Serbia At a Glance 2022”.
The study was done with the support of the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ), as well as the help of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, the Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina, the Novi Sad fair, as well as the international IT cluster network 3B ICT Network. The source of statistical data is the Serbian IT Observatory – SITO, Biznis writes.
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