MoU between Republic of Serbia and UK in ICT sector

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic and British Ambassador to Serbia Michael Davenport signed today the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) in education and the development of economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Ljajic underlined after the signing of the memorandum that this document contains several items related to the promotion of IT sector in the field of education, and to support to teachers in primary and secondary schools, and raising awareness of the importance of IT in education.

He emphasised that the examples of good practice and experiences of Great Britain in this area are particularly important for Serbia and added that after the signing of the memorandum study visits and exchange of professionals between the two countries will take place.

Ljajic said that Serbia has already signed a similar memorandum with the United States and Azerbaijan, and that the signing of such a document with China, Estonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina is in preparation.

According to him, Serbia annually exports about €200 million in software, whereby the value of the entire Serbian IT market is about €470 million.

Serbia invests approximately €60 per capita in this industry, which is at the same level with Bulgaria and Romania, and is significantly more than in Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

However, that is considerably less than in Croatia, which invests around €200, and far less than the EU average, which is approximately €800 per capita.

Davenport said he expects that intensification of cooperation between the two countries in this field will contribute to an increased investment in the IT sector in education, which will improve the quality of education and help young people develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the 21st century.

He recalled that the British Council in Serbia, in cooperation with the Serbian Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications, has launched several initiatives in teacher training and information of the general public in Serbia on the importance of information and communications technology, which will help young people find a job more easily.