Development

Southeast Europe: Team Play not Brain Drain

The Danube region and other countries are using the International Business Area (IBA) as an opportunity to present themselves as partners in business.

25 Nov. 2015

Romania is a nation of hardware; computers, telecommunications equipment, entertainment electronics, and semiconductors are the most important industrial products made by this member of the European Union. But their software market is growing, too. Market research company IDC predicts that the Romanian software sector will grow by almost ten percent annually up until 2016. The IT industry as a whole will, according to the analysts, grow by almost six percent a year.

They have the workforce for it. Each year around 40,000 well-educated engineers leave Romania's universities – most of them, up until now, to pursue careers abroad. "But many graduates would prefer to remain in the country and more and more are doing so," says Hans Gäng, Managing Director of the consulting company local global. This is because there are an increasing number of jobs on offer. "Bangalore-like structures have grown up around the universities in Bucharest, Iasi, and Cluj," says Hans Gäng. "Many international companies are having software developed in Romania, and an increasing number of them are forming their own subsidiaries in the country. Oracle, Microsoft, Google, and others are now employing their people there."

A key factor in this success is a multilingual workforce: "It isn't difficult to find workers in Romania who speak fluent English, German, French, or Italian," says Mircea Popa of Pentalog. This specialist in nearshore and offshore development has been maintaining a delivery center in Romania's second-largest university city of Iasi since 2007. More than 110 engineers – from junior PHPs to senior Java developers – work there for companies who are mainly Western European Pentalog customers. "We undertake tasks in the fields of application development, embedded and mobile computing, and infrastructure management, and in doing so we save our clients up to 30 percent on their project costs," says Mircea Popa.

Pentalog will be offering its services at CeBIT 2015 in the International Business Area (IBA) in Hall 6. Many regions will be presenting themselves as trade and collaboration partners, investment and outsourcing locations, and destinations for offshoring and nearshoring at the 'CeBIT Global Village' with shared booths.

The CeBIT IBA Conference in Hall 6 provides an arena for IBA exhibitors. This four-day event is entitled 'Discover the possibilities of new international markets and alliances.' On Tuesday, which is 'China day,' CeBIT 2015's partner country will be presenting itself. And on Thursday Indonesia and Bangladesh will be showcasing their strengths. On Friday, foreign companies who wish to become active in Germany will be given advice on how to collaborate successfully and will be told about initiatives that might help them.

The focus of the conference on Wednesday, March 18, will be European funding schemes in Eastern, Central, and southern Europe. Entitled 'European Innovation Strategy – Resources for Regional Growth,' the focus will be on the Baltic region from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and on projects in Central and southern Europe from 12 noon to 2 p.m. The Danube region will be under the spotlight from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

"Team Play not Brain Drain is the slogan of the new EU strategy," explains forum organizer Hans Gäng. The EU, he says, no longer wants to promote competition for engineers, it wishes instead to build up software industries in the regions. He continues: "Instead of creaming off talent from Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Baltic states, Western Europe's businesses also need to realize that they can cooperate there by nearshoring."

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