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Serbia is the regional leader in the development of technology, said the president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Borge Brende, at the opening of the first International Conference “The Future of Biotechnology” in Belgrade.

Brende noted that Serbia is an important partner of the WEF, having a long and good cooperation.

Brende reminded that in February in Geneva, together with the Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić, he signed an agreement on the establishment of the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Belgrade, which was officially opened.

“Today we solemnly marked this in Serbia and we are very pleased that Serbia is part of our global network, since we have 16 such centers in the world,” Brende said, adding that the center in Serbia will be special.

“When you look at Serbian GDP statistics, you can see that almost 10 per cent is the IT sector, which shows that whoever has a vision and priorities can make great progress.

Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia

That is why Serbia is developing advanced technologies and the opening of the WEF Center in Serbia was, according to him, a completely logical next step.

“Of the 10 largest companies in the world, five or six did not exist 20 years ago. This means that, if the same continues, the future biggest companies in the next 20 years don’t even exist yet. Prosperity is something you have to fight for every day”, said Brende and pointed out that Serbia can be a hub for technological development, with already made good steps in this direction and implementing new technologies. In 10 years it will no longer be a predominantly agricultural country.”

In this regard, the administrator of the UN Development Program, Akim Steiner, said in his speech that biotechnology is a key feature of the development of the modern world, adding that the world should be united in fostering a culture of experimentation and innovation.

He stated that the development of biotechnology will greatly improve life and prevent many diseases.

“Biotechnology is key in the creation of vaccines and has contributed to the creation of drugs for many diseases,” Steiner pointed out, adding that with the help of biotechnology development, food transformation is ensured and climate change is slowed down.

Steiner expressed satisfaction that Serbia is participating in smart development, as part of the largest development network, and that the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution was established in Belgrade.

Prime Minister Brnabić opened the first International Conference “The Future of Biotechnology” in Belgrade, and on that occasion said that today Serbia has embarked on a fruitful and long journey.

“The next step in technological changes and innovations will be biotechnology, and that is why the key focus of the new government, which will be formed soon, will be biotechnology, medicine, informatics and biodiversity,” Brnabić said before the representatives of 20 countries.

As she emphasized in her speech, Serbia has done a lot in the previous 10 years in the IT sector, which has become coutry’s strongest export sector and will exceed 2.5 billion euros this year.

She added that last year every other new job was in the IT sector.

“We also opened four science and technology parks in Serbia, built an entire network of business incubators and startup centers across the country, introduced significant tax breaks for companies that want to invest in research and development in Serbia, as well as those that hire our people from the diaspora, and also for foreigners who come to work in Serbia”, noted the Prime Minister, concluding that Serbia is one of 26 countries in the world and the first in this part of Europe to adopt artificial intelligence strategy.

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