According to the data generated by the money transfer platform Payoneer, Serbia ranks tenth in the world in terms of income generated by freelancers.
The country recorded a growth of 19% compared to 2018, when, according to a survey conducted by the University of Oxford, it ranked eleventh in the overall self-employed market.
Freelance workers are usually young and highly educated professionals, working mainly online for foreign companies in IT, translation services, design and digital marketing. They opt for remote engagement due to flexible working hours and the possibility to work from home.
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“Freelancers have a kind of freedom in their work, in the sense that they decide for themselves when they will work, what they will do and what jobs they will accept,” said Relja Damjanovic, freelance software developer.
According to the latest survey, the U.S. made the biggest leap last year, with the share of freelancers up by 78%.
“Online freelance platforms have played an extremely important role in the case of Serbia, as they offer jobs to young people who are over-qualified or have such knowledge that goes beyond the demands of the Serbian economy, which at the moment, is still at a rudimentary level in terms of digital transformation and building a knowledge-based economy,” says Tanja Jakobi from Public Policy Research Centre.
The risks of this type of work include job insecurity and uncertain earnings. The results also show that almost two thirds of freelancers in Serbia are invisible to the tax system while the rest pay taxes.
The benefits of receiving money from abroad will not change even after 1 June, when, under the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, a register of foreign remittances will be created and all financial cross-border transactions will be registered.
The remittance register will only include transactions made outside a person’s bank account, i.e. in cash through services such as Western Union, Moneygram or RIA. Such money transfers, according to the National Bank, in most cases do not relate to business matters, but to personal transfers, not work-related.
This post is also available in: Italiano