Serbia won't miss out on this industrial revolution - PM
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated on Tuesday in Paris that Serbia has launched a broad spectrum of regulatory and tax reforms.Source: Beta, srbija.gov.rs
Their goal is to stimulate faster development of industries based on knowledge and digital transformation, Brnabic told a panel dedicated to blockchain technology - the central theme of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conference.
According to her, digitization represents the greatest potential for Serbia to "growth, be competitive, and leapfrog."
"It is the 4th industrial revolution that gives a whole new set of opportunities for economies such as Serbian. Those that were not the winners of the previous industrial revolutions, have a unique chance to become winners in today’s world. As the prime minister, I have my mind set on Serbia using this unique opportunity, which is why I declared digitization – digitization of all aspects of Serbian society – to be the number one priority of my government," Brnabic said.
"This means a very wide scope of things:from developing eGovernment and delivering more eServices - to increase efficiency and transparency of the government, and also as a mighty tool to fight corruption, to strong support to Serbian fast growing IT sector (which currently grows more than 20 percent year-on-year, with exports growth of more than 30 percent annually), to significant investments in modernization of education," she continued.
"My goal is to drive the transformation of Serbian economy from investment-driven, where we are today, to innovation-driven, where we need to be," the prime minister said.
"Like some other Eastern European countries with traditionally strong STEM education, Serbia has been known as a great outsourcing destination for years. It is ranked among the top European countries when it comes to the number of freelancers and, according to some estimates, No. 1 country in terms of freelancers per capita," she said.
"This is all the great foundation to build an innovative economy on, and we already have a number of companies and startups dealing with new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, genome sequencing, virtual reality, and gaming. Several of our companies are the best in the world in their field – but we need more of them," Brnabic said, adding that regarding blockchain, "we have number of successful companies that work with the most notable foreign partners in the world."
"In 2017, 'Markets and Markets' research recognized Serbia as one of the top five countries in the world in terms of number of blockchain developers. At the same time, Serbian blockchain company, Game Credits, ran the largest Initial Coin Offering in the world, and there are several other blockchain projects developed in Serbia that raised tens of millions of EUR," the prime minister said, and added:
"One project that might be particularly important is blockchain based solution for sending remittances, since there are couple of billion EUR of remittances sent to Serbia each year. This project is driven by UNDP, an example of our close cooperation with both business and donor community."
"I strongly believe that digital opportunities are huge and that Serbia has a genuine chance for rapid growth in the foreseeable future. We are convinced that in some areas, blockchain being one of them, Serbia might even be amongst the leading countries of the world.