The Director of the Digital Serbia Initiative, Nebojša Bjelotomić, said today that more than 90 percent of IT sector exports from Serbia go to Europe and the USA, and pointed out that the Asian market should be considered.
Bjelotomić told the Beta agency at the conference “How to Succeed in Asia from Serbia” in the Belgrade hotel “Kraun Plaza”, that the export of the IT sector from Serbia in 2022 amounted to 2.5 billion dollars, and that only 15 million of either to the markets of Southeast Asia and Japan, although they are very advanced in the use of IT technologies.
He added that when talking about the diversification of exports of Serbian startups and companies from that area, it is necessary to consider the performance on the markets of Southeast Asia and Japan.
“What is already the rule somewhere, when you go to Asia, Singapore is the first stop that allows you to enter the Asian market more easily, so today we are very pleased that we are joined by colleagues from ‘Enterprise Singapore’, a state agency that enables companies to it’s easier for them to reach Singapore and for Singaporean companies to get in touch with those from other markets,” said Bjelotomić.
He stated that Digital Serbia, together with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is currently implementing the accelerator program “Ninja” for the preparation of domestic startup companies for entering the Asian market.
Director of the Africa-Asia Investment Consultancy (AAIC) Shigeru Handa stated in his speech at the conference that Singapore, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Hong Kong can be some of the countries for easier entry into the market, because English is one of the official languages in those countries.
“When we look at GDP, even though Asia has 50 percent of the world’s population, Asia’s GDP is 30 percent of the global one, so there is a lot of potential for additional growth. In the last five years, Asia has had the highest GDP growth. Although it is far away, there is a lot of potential in Asia,” Handa said.
He expressed the hope that domestic startups, along with European and American ones, will consider the option of entering the Asian market, although, according to him, it is always a challenge to enter a new market.
The Minister of Science, Technological Development and Innovation of Serbia, Jelena Begović, said that innovations can contribute to the development of new markets and the diversification of economic activities, stressing that they are necessary for the growth and development of the economy, but also of society as a whole.
According to her, the commercialization and internationalization of domestic innovative solutions are also of great importance for the development of the domestic economy, especially if we are talking about Serbia as a relatively small country.
“On the one hand, a small scientific ecosystem that we have to concentrate, but it has great potential, but also a smaller market compared to the huge and significant market of Asia. I think that we should really use this opportunity to our mutual benefit and help Serbia develop further.” , Begović said.