Mar 7, 2017

Source: Law In Serbia –

Innovative information technology centers developing systems used worldwide, with ‘chillout’ zones for young, multilingual employees, may seem strange outside of California’s Silicon Valley, but Serbia’s growing information technology sector, which includes outsourcing as well as development, rests to no small extent on the country’s strong tradition of technical, scientific and mathematical education.

Predicated on the young, diverse and technical talent produced in Serbia’s famously rigorous schools and universities, and as the Financial Times noted, executives at Microsoft, realizing that a disproportionate number of the company’s software experts in the US came from eastern Europe, they resolved to set up operations in the region to capitalize on its talent pool. In 2005 the global technology giant founded the Microsoft Development Center Serbia (MDCS), only its fourth such center in the world. The MDCS, set in the New Belgrade district has grown into an international base for innovation and a bright spot for investment in Serbia.

With technical schools accounting for around a third of the 43,500 students who graduate each year – Serbia benefits from its geographical location, multilingual workers (particularly in English, Russian and German), relatively low costs and government incentives including grants and tariff-free imports of equipment. Serbia is in the same time zone as most of Europe, and with minimal time differences from much of the former Soviet Union, as well as the UK, servicing a wide range of affluent and growing markets is relatively straightforward, while the country is also accessible for clients and investors. Gross monthly salaries for programmers range from €1,000 to €2,000, depending on experience, according to the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (Siepa), while prime office rents are lower than most countries in eastern Europe.

While true ‘Grade A’ space is limited, Embassy’s “IT Park Indjija” aims to create a more conducive physical environment for IT development. The project’s first building, with 10,000 sq m, is ready for market after a €15m investment that is a fraction of the total €300m that Embassy aims to invest on its 170-hectare site.