Serbian programmers are among the top programmers in the world when it comes to the development of mobile apps, despite the fact that investments in IT in Serbia amount to only EUR 62 per capita. In Europe, the amount reaches EUR 800, whereas investments in IT in the neighboring Croatia exceed EUR 200 per capita. From 2004, when new members were joining the EU, Slovenia among them, the investments would reach EUR 150, Politika writes.
Milan Solaja, the director of the Vojvodina ICT Cluster, warns about this and adds that one of the strategic goals of this government, which has placed IT high on its agenda, should be to reach the amount of EUR 150 per capita.
– It's not surprising to me that Serbian programmers placed among the top 15 in the development of mobile apps in the Global Innovation Index report. The local IT market is shallow and companies operating in this field are oriented towards the global market. These are primarily companies, as individuals and freelancers don't have such potential. We expect this year's export of IT services to exceed EUR 1 billion, which is important, especially as this is a sector which was created and developed without state support. But it is important for the potentials of the local marekt to develop parallel to the growth and development of exports – Solaja says.
He adds that the Vojvodina ICT Cluster is constantly communicating with state representatives to the end of creating a set of measures of support to the IT sector, which has developed independently in Serbia and which realizes excellent results in the world.
– One of our proposals is for companies which use IT products and services in their production to be given state subsidies – Solaja proposes.
The data of the Vojvodina ICT Cluster say that 2,048 companies operate in the local IT industry, employing over 21,500 workers. This amounts to 1.4% of the total workforce in Serbia, but the employment in this field grows by up to 10% annually, primarily thanks to the fact that companies in this field are export-oriented.
Serbian companies invest around 0.7% of their income in IT, whereas, globally, the percentage reaches 3.5%.
The export in this field amounted to EUR 899 million last year, whereas the export of fruit and vegetables amounted to EUR 780, for the sake of comparison.
In the latest Global Innovation Index report
, Serbia placed within the top 15 economies when it comes to the development of mobile apps, with 126 countries ranked.