After making a stop in NCR Corp.’s old home state of Ohio, the prime minister of Serbia plans to visit the transaction technology giant’s executives Tuesday at its shiny new Atlanta headquarters.
Ana Brnabic plans to thank the company for its existing investment, which started in 2011 and has grown from 300 initial employees to more than 3,000 today. She’ll also learn about plans for an expansion set to break ground in March or April of this year, which will see the creation of an NCR campus and Center of Excellence with up 4,200 employees by 2021.
NCR’s operation in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, already provides business functions in a variety of languages and has been a contributor to the company’s efficiency. The new campus would double down on this, providing functions from software development to human resources and communications, according to the prime minister’s team. A 2015 article said that NCR offered customer support in 17 languages from the Serbia support center, which located many functions in the same place to smooth out service requests.
The visit comes as Ms. Brnabic is pushing ahead with reforms aiming to make the southeastern European nation a more friendly place to do business. From the agenda for her working visit to the U.S.:
PM Brnabic’s goal is to position Serbia high on the list of the most supportive countries for a knowledge-based economy.
Serbia aims to join the European Union during its next period of enlargement and is undertaking reforms to its business environment to attract further investment from around the world. Already it has made waves in indices from the Financial Times and the World Bank, which called the country the “top reformer” in the region. Information technology, research and development, creative industries and digitization are key components. For instance, Serbia is spending 100 million euros to upgrade classrooms with digital capabilities.
The country’s recently enacted tax incentives include an R&D deduction, an “IP Box” that taxes profits generated from intellectual property at 3 recent rather than the standard 15 percent, and a 30 percent tax credit for investment into startups. Countries with R&D operations in Serbia include Microsoft, FIS, Ubisoft, Nutanix and Schneider Electric.
NCR was based for most of its life as a company in Dayton, Ohio, before announcing a move to metro Atlanta in 2009. It abandoned its Gwinnett County headquarters in 2018, launching a brand new, $200 million-plus headquarters building in Midtown last January.
Ms. Brnabic’s Ohio trip includes a meeting with the governor, a visit to Ohio State University and a meeting with the adjutant general of the Ohio National Guard, with which the country has a partnership.