MICROSOFT BUSINESS-TECHNOLOGY CENTRE OPENS IN VARAZDIN
VARAZDIN, Croatia, October 28 /PRNewswire/ --
- The Opening Ceremony Marks an Alliance Between Public and Private Sector Aimed to Help Increase Economic Growth, Competitiveness and Job Creation in Croatia
Ivo Sanader, Prime Minister of Croatia, along with Ralph Frank, American Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Ivan Cehok, Mayor of the City of Varazdin, and Davor Majetic, general manager Microsoft Croatia, today attended the opening ceremony of the Microsoft(R) Business-Technology Centre in Varazdin, Croatia. The Centre was formed through an alliance of number of partners that contributed resources toward the development and management of the Centre, including Cisco Systems Inc, the City of Varazdin, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft Corp, T-Com and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This Centre is the most recent example of public and private partnership to speed economic growth, increase competitiveness and more create knowledge-based jobs in emerging markets.
(Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)
The Centre was created to stimulate the development of Croatia's information and communication technology (ICT) industry. It will help Croatian entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to create innovative new products and services, bring those products and services to market, and build competitive businesses in the IT sector. The Centre will include both an incubator for start-up companies and a laboratory facility for development of joint projects among mature software developers and vendors, focusing on delivering knowledge transfer in both technology and business through classes, workshops, testing and demonstration.
Microsoft is committed in establishing long-term partnerships with governments, academic institutions and private sector throughout Europe in an effort to grow local economic development and help enable these countries to better compete in the global marketplace through the use of technology.
"Establishment of the Business-Technology Centre is another direct Microsoft investment in local economy especially in SME sector," said Davor Majetic, Microsoft general manager in Croatia. "Over the next 30 months the Centre will directly assist a minimum of 100 independent software vendor companies with formal training or technical assistance, and we expect a minimum of 200 new employees will be hired by assisted companies. In the same period, we also expect establishment of at least 20 new start-ups and development of minimum 50 new software solutions. The Centre is the result of our recognition that Croatian enterprises across the economy need new advanced technologies in order to raise their productivity and capacity to deliver highly competitive goods and services at lower prices, as is highlighted in the Lisbon agenda. It is not a coincidence that this occasion is coming at a time when Croatia is starting its negotiation process for joining European Union."
The latest IDC research study shows that the ICT sector in Croatia will create at least 7,200 new jobs and provide tax income of US$115 million in the next four years. Last year, 47 per cent of all IT jobs and taxes were related to the broad ICT ecosystem Microsoft has helped to create in the country and 9,400 jobs in Croatia are directly related to Microsoft and Microsoft partners' technologies.
"This Centre is a model for how the public and private sectors can work together," said Ralph Frank, American Ambassador to Republic of Croatia and the director of USAID mission in Croatia that has, together with Microsoft, initiated this project.
Additional information on today's announcements is available on Microsoft's EMEA Press Centre website at http://www.microsoft.com/emea/presscentre .
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