New Environmentally Friendly Denim Finishing Technique a Path to Expanding Market
February 28, 2014 - Last week, within the Novi Pazar 2014 Balkan Textile international
fair, the Project organized a presentation for partner companies in the Asstex textile cluster on ‘Ozone,’ a new eco-friendly alternative
to stonewashing. The
presentation was held as part of the Project's drive in the Novi Pazar-led
inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) Area, to expand the private sector and create
jobs in this region’s denim sector.
Previously, an international textile expert
visited some of the biggest companies within the Asstex association and
identified waste-water treatment as a key area for improvement and prerequisite
for successful export to foreign markets. The ‘Ozone’ denim finishing technology
decreases the processing costs of jeans and reduces the negative impact on the environment,
thus making the final product more accessible and attractive to modern consumers.
A key Project partner assisting local manufacturers to expand their business is the
Novi Pazar Design and Textile Vocational School which presented the 'Ozone' technology to private sector representatives present at the fair. On behalf of
the school, Professor Abdagic pointed out that "Ozone (…) is the future of the
textile industry and we, as a school, have to be up-to-date with the latest
trends, techniques and design. Only then can we support local businesses
Study Programs to Increase Employment in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector
February 25, 2014 - To enable workforce development and raise employment
in the ICT industry in Serbia, the Project has launched study programs in partnership
with the Vojvodina ICT Cluster and Nis Cluster of Advanced Technology (NiCAT). The Project has awarded two grants (approximately $60,000 and $50,000) for the opening of
ICT Academies, which will provide a six-month training program tailored to ICT sector
During the program, 50 trainees will learn IT skills currently unavailable
on the labor market, such as programming and software development. Participants
will apply acquired knowledge through a three-month internship in one of the
companies from each cluster. ICT is a fast growing sector in Serbia, with the
number of jobs requiring ICT knowledge increasing faster than the number of
available qualified workers.
The Project supports the development of a workforce
that matches private sector needs and encourages closer cooperation between
educational/scientific and business communities in both the Novi Sad and Nis
-led inter-municipal cooperation areas.
Footwear Producers to Reach New Customers
February 21, 2014 - The Project has engaged an international footwear expert, Jordan Salliman, to
guide Vranje and Novi Pazar IMC Area shoe manufacturers in targeting buyers and
markets at the GDS trade fair in March. The Project is supporting the attendance
of this delegation of shoe producers as well as the construction of a Serbian national
pavilion, and assisting seven shoe producers (members of the Kostana Cluster
from Vranje and NP Cluster from Novi Pazar) in presenting their products at the
SLDP is also sponsoring a national footwear industry brochure, flyers to
be distributed at the fair as well as an electronic version of the flyer to be
used in contacting over 12,000 footwear industry decision makers through a
Footwear Plus database. Footwear Plus is the most prestigious shoe industry
magazine and their contact list will give Serbia footwear exposure to the U.S.
market at a minimum cost.
The GDS trade fair, to be held March 12-14, 2014 in
Dussseldorf, Germany, is an international trade fair which allows more than 500
exhibitors from over 25 countries to present their collections for men's and
women's footwear, leather goods and bags.
Belgrade Open School (BOS) to Help Better Match Workforce with Labor Needs and Increase Employment
February 14, 2014 - The Project has approved an approximately $60,000 grant to
BOS to develop curricula for vocational education training (VET) centers that will be tailored to local resources and needs in the Vranje, Uzice, and Subotica-led inter-municipal
cooperation (IMC) areas, encompassing 12 municipalities. In line with Project activities, BOS will establish and improve dialogue between businesses in the wood processing, furniture,
textile, footwear and agribusiness industries with respective VET schools to
better match labor force supply and demand.
Specific activities will consist of:
trainings for school, youth office and Local Economic Development (LED)
officials to better define needed curricula for schools in their communities;
analyzing market needs and current school
programs; organizing career workshops to introduce youths to available local labor markets;
and developing marketing plans to recruit students. As a
final activity, based on lessons learned from the grant, BOS will develop a
general model for improving cooperation between the private sector and
vocational schools. The model will study the roles of all parties involved
(schools, companies, local government, pupils, parents, local media etc.) and propose ways to improve communication and cooperation.
Study to Enable Local Producers to Meet Uzice-Led Inter-Municipal Cooperation (IMC) Area Tourism Industry Demand
February 7, 2014 - Last week, the Zlatibor
Regional Development Agency (RDA) presented the final results of a Value Chain
Analysis measuring local tourism industry demand for local products and performing
a supply scan of what local producers currently sell and what could be offered
in the future. The study estimates that only 10% of all regional tourism sector
purchases come from local suppliers. The main obstacles to increasing local merchandise sales are a lack of standardized products, limited
production capacity and uncompetitive pricing compared to industrial products
In order to meet tourism demand and increase ocal product sales, the report recommends: improving the quality and overall
standardization of local merchandise, aligning the products offered with tourist
demand and increasing production capacities for traditional regional products. One
of the proposed activities in the study is to focus the local industry on producing and promoting the four most prosperous regional brands: dry meats,
cheeses, honey (both as a health food and for its medicinal wellness application),
and the local brandy- rakija.
The study encompassed 100 hotel and restaurant representatives, 100 small and
medium sized enterprises, 200 individual agriculture producers and 300 tourists
in the Uzice –led IMC area’s Zlatibor, Tara and Zlatar tourism regions. The
Project and RDA Zlatibor will now identify products and support companies that have the greatest potential to meet local tourism industry needs.