Speaking at a press conference, Dinkic said: “I’m very satisfied … that today I signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the first IT park in Serbia and, I’d say, the future biggest technology park in the whole of Europe.”
Initially, the technology park would occupy 280 hectares (690 acres) of land in an industrial zone of the northern town of Indjija, where it would employ around 2,500 IT professionals, Dinkic said.
However, depending on client uptake, it could be expanded during the next five years to offer global IT companies 250,000 square metres of office space for up to 25,000 employees, he added.
Jitu Virwani, Embassy Group’s chairman, welcomed the agreement for the project, which he said had already attracted interest from some of its biggest clients, such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
“We’ve been looking for an east European country, mainly from the perspective of having some of our clients from the IT sector to be servicing the eastern European market,” Virwani said at the end of the signing ceremony.
“After a lot of research, we found Belgrade to be highly suitable for the needs of our clients, more from the perspective of costs.
“We see Serbia as the same position as Bangalore or India was, as far as the IT sector [is concerned], in 1991,” Virwani said, in reference to the city seen as India’s Silicon Valley.
Embassy Group, he said, was a company that had one of the biggest number of tenants leasing space at its IT parks around the world.
The deal aims to capitalise on the growing shift among global IT companies to “near-source” technology services closer to Western clients, rather than outsourcing them to India, where costs are rising.
It is seen as yet another win for Indjija, whose mayor, Goran Jesic, has already won praise for fostering an “economic miracle” in the town, halfway between Serbia’s two biggest cities of Belgrade and Novi Sad.