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Italy and Serbia unite for SME Day to meet the challenge of digitalization

Carlo Lo Cascio, the Italian Ambassador to Serbia, organised a two-day event dedicated to the world of business on 15 November: SME Day. Ambassador Lo Cascio visited several companies in Jagodina, Central Serbia, and also met with the students of the area’s secondary schools. During his visits, he was accompanied by Snezana Vukasinovic, Deputy Mayor of Jagodina, Gabrijela Grujic, assistant to the Minister of Education, and Romano Rossi, Vice President of Confindustria SERBIA.

Organised for the first time in Serbia in 2016, SME Day has now turned into the “year of Italian industry’s Open Day” project aimed at promoting systematic cooperation between vocational schools and universities on the one hand and Italian companies on the other in the attempt to align school curricula with effective corporate needs.

Ambassador Lo Cascio explained that meeting Italian SMEs based in Jagodina means recognising the great contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises in Serbia. He said: “SMEs are the motive force of the Italian economy and they represent a model that is perfectly adjusted to the situation in Serbia. Without mentioning that Italian companies are here to stay and this is why we want to look at the future together with the Serbian labour forces, in order to create a direct connection between schools and companies.”  

On 15 November, Ambassador Lo Cascio and the Serbian Minister of Technological Innovation and Development, Nenad Popovic, visited the “Engineering Software Lab” in Belgrade. Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A. is one of Italy’s most important System Integrators and operates in the telecommunications sector, banks, the Public Administration, industry, and in the health and Energy & Utilities sectors. In 2015, the Group made its entry on the Serbian market, creating a company dedicated to developing innovative solutions: its nearly 150 employees in Serbia cater for the Group’s global needs thanks to the sizable investments in research and development.

The Engineering Software Lab is an associate of Confindustria Serbia, with which it shares its confidence on digital transformation. During his visit, Ambassador Lo Cascio emphasised that Italy supports Serbia’s EU accession process and that drawing closer to the European Union also means improving services for its citizens, investing in new technologies and achieving topmost standards in research and innovation. He added: “Italy stands by Serbia on a daily basis, also to jointly tackle the challenge posed by digitalisation and new technologies.”

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