FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why nearshoring in Serbia?
Serbia is well placed both geographically and structurally to provide a cost-effective and reliable alternative to other, already established markets. An outstanding pool of intellectual capital, attractive labour costs, excellent worker skills, a suitable communications network and a high fluency in English are just some of the key competitive advantages that have already attracted international software companies to expand to Serbia.
- Population: with approx. 8 million inhabitants one of the largest countries in the region
- Geographic Position: South East Europe
- Capital: Belgrade with approx. 3 million inhabitants
- Time Zone: GMT+1 – same time zone as Zurich, Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm
- Airport: Belgrade, reachable in less than 2 flight hours from most European cities
What are the special locational advantages of Serbia?
- Large talent pool – Natural sciences are traditionally very popular in Serbia. Around 4,500 engineers graduate from technical universities each year. Government subsidy programmes and investments will also support this trend in the future.
- Good availability – There is no distinct “War for Talent” in Serbia yet, so the availability of highly qualified software developers is much better than in Western Europe.
- Easy coordination – The same time zone, similar cultures as well as a comparable working culture guarantee an efficient collaboration.
- Communication – Above average English skills enable fluid communication.
- Competitive costs – Labour and operating costs in Serbia are significantly lower than in Western Europe. We pass this substantial cost advantage directly on to our clients.
- Geographical proximity – Belgrade can be reached from most major Western European airports in less than two flight hours.
- High Mobility – Serbian citizens can travel to the Schengen area without a visa. Similarly, entry into Serbia for foreign citizens is also visa-free.
“Serbia is becoming one of Europe’s most attractive IT hot spots. An outstanding pool of intellectual capital, attractive costs, a skilled workforce, a good communications network, and a high fluency in English labour are just some of the key advantages that usually attract international companies to expand ICT businesses in Serbia.”
Why is the Serbian human capital interesting for the IT industry in particular?
- IT education: Natural sciences are traditionally very popular in Serbia. Among university graduates, technical schools rank number one with a share of approximately 33%. Leading, internationally recognised institutes are, e.g. School of Electrical Engineering or School of Mathematical Science in Belgrade.
- The IT industry employs a highly skilled workforce, out of which approximately 85% completed a university level education. Serbian engineers are competent in a broad range of technologies that support effective development of first-class software.
- Foreign language knowledge: Serbia has the highest percentage of English speaking working population (49%) in the SEE region. English and a second foreign language, mostly German, are mandatory subjects throughout primary and secondary education in Serbia. English and German or French are also compulsory subjects at colleges and universities.
How is the Serbian IT sector developing?
ICT is the most vibrant sector in Serbia and with a two-digit annual growth rate the fastest growing industry in Serbia. According to recent figures, the county is becoming a market leader in the Adriatic region concerning the volume of provided IT- and software development services. Strong growth rates are being recorded in the development of mobile- and web applications, software engineering, testing and in solutions in the field of embedded software. The largest markets for Serbian outsourcing companies are Germany, the USA, the UK and the Netherlands.
Which software giants are already in Serbia?
Many leading global IT companies already have their nearshore development centre in Belgrade, Serbia:
- Hewlett Packard
- Cisco Systems
“Serbia has great potential in the IT industry, that is why the world’s biggest software company decided to open a development centre in Belgrade.”
Mr. Christopher Brennan
Central Eastern Europe General Manager,
“It’s not a coincidence that Intel opened its regional office in Serbia. It has a great strategic position and a capable and well educated workforce.”