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Serbia’s Digital Transformation Paying Dividends

Over the recent past, eGovernment services have contributed significantly to both the development of digitalisation among companies and the development of digital literacy among citizens. It is thus no wonder that the Government of Serbia is constantly raising the bar when it comes to going digital

Consider these headlines popping up with a simple Google search: “Serbia one of 10 world countries to make the greatest progress in public administration digitalisation”, “Serbia at your fingertips – digital transformation for development”, “Corporate legislation in Serbia marching toward digitalisation”, “The future of government: Serbia’s growing bet on digital transformation pays off”, “Digitalisation developments in Serbia” or “IFC Supports Digitalisation Drive to Reduce Burden for Businesses in Serbia”. Each of them – found on the websites of the government of Serbia, the World Bank, IFC, UNDP and specialised law firms – testifies in its own way to the success Serbia has achieved over just the previous few years.

Indeed, some of these efforts only accelerated during the pandemic, but what’s important is that the pace was sustained during both 2021 and 2022. Back in 2021, Forbes published an interview with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, focusing on the digital transformation of the country and her vision for Serbia’s creative and digital future. The opening sentence reads: “We can learn a lot from small countries where big things happen”. In the article, the author mentions Ireland, New Zealand, Estonia, the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and Serbia as impressive examples of digital transformation.

The previous period saw a large number of new start-ups “spawned” on the basis of digital solutions… And this trend has today been embraced across the Serbian economy

And really, from her first inaugural speech until today, PM Brnabić has succeeded in making changes that have managed to ensure that, today, “everyone is talking about digitalisation”. Following these changes, several global corporations have begun investing in the tech sector in Serbia. It is quite a difference compared to the Serbia being promoted by the same government just a few years ago as a place with the main advantage of an affordable workforce.

The IT sector continues to raise the bar each year, turning Serbia from a country where exports of raw foodstuffs topped the list of exported goods for years into a country that uses its IT sector to become a knowledge- based economy.

Serbia is undeniably striving to build a digitally-enabled society with a more diverse, value-added economic base. Even agriculture, which for years proved resistant to change and remained a traditional industry, is gradually becoming more digitised.

The previous period saw a large number of new start-ups “spawned” on the basis of digital solutions. This trend has recently been embraced by more traditional companies that have become aware that they will either transform digitally or cease to exist. The digital transformation process is an almost endless one – and this is understood well by the Government of Serbia. This fourth aim publication dedicated to digital transformation itself testifies to the great scope and depth of that change.

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