IT Industry Boom Hits Osijek

Total Croatia News

The number of IT companies in Osijek has doubled, and they now have almost a thousand employees.

Despite the daily deluge of news about your people leaving Croatia and especially Slavonia, there is a bright example of IT companies from Osijek-Baranja County which shows that there is hope, reports Jutarnji List on September 21, 2017.

The number of software development companies in the county more than doubled from 2012 to the beginning of this year, the number of employees jumped by 93 percent and the profits increased by 133 percent. The data was announced as part of a study prepared by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Osijek Software City, an association which is developing a platform for bringing together IT companies from Osijek.

“The research shows that Osijek-Baranja County has gone the furthest in the IT segment, perhaps not by total revenues, but by the number of newly-established companies and new jobs, which are above Croatia’s average,” said Bela Ikotić, the general secretary of the association.

Although the sudden growth and success of the Osijek-based software industry will not economically save Slavonia, Osijek has managed to reduce the number of people from the IT sector leaving to Zagreb and other countries, which is great news given the economic and social situation in Slavonia.

“Today we have almost 1,000 people employed in the wider IT sector. All the investments are having an effect on the labour market. This industry differs from the others due to its competitiveness, export potential and the fact that it operates in the global markets. This is a sufficient motive for young and skilled people to stay here and to work and live a good life,” said Ikotić.

Young people are not leaving Croatia just due to the lack of jobs, but also to acquire new knowledge. One way the association is keeping them in Croatia is by offering them educational activities. In order to attract those who have already gone, said Ikotić, they need to give them a reason to come back. “It is up to us to create all the necessary preconditions for those who are potentially thinking about returning to find good people, working conditions and high-quality technology so that they have a reason to come back,” said Ikotić.

Researchers Ana Čobanković and Ivan Jurlina reported that IT companies in the county increased their total revenues by 97 percent from 2012 to 2016. Importantly, revenues from foreign sales went up by 152 percent. The focus on exports to the global market has helped develop this young industry.

Five years ago, there were only 68 IT companies in the county with 268 employees. Last year, Osijek-Baranja County had 129 companies involved just in computer programming and consulting. These business employed 518 people with an average net salary of 5,168 kunas. The companies had revenues of more than 143 million kunas, and profits were around 22 million kunas. Out of total sales, about 46 percent was realised abroad.

These data show that there is growing interest for IT sector is Osijek. However, this is not enough to reverse wider emigration trends.

Translated from Jutarnji List.


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