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Leskovac Improves Investment Climate
Photo: www.bfc-see.org/

April 17, 2014 - As a result of technical assistance provided by the Project, the partner municipality of Leskovac has been certified as business friendly by the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED). Business Friendly Certification South East Europe (BFC SEE) guarantees a certain level of efficiency and transparency within local administrations, and testifies to the quality of services and information that local governments offer to investors and businesses.

To gain certification, the Project assisted the Leskovac LED Office to: revise the strategic plan for local development, link with businesses to create a Business Advisory Council, develop a system of services for the issuance of construction permits and gather the necessary documentation to demonstrate investment promotion activities. Obtaining this certification will improve the local business environment and the image of the local government, thereby attracting domestic and foreign private sector investments and creating new jobs.

Since 2011, NALED and its partners have expanded the Serbian BFC process to include municipalities in Bosnia, Macedonia and Croatia, calling the initiative BFC South East Europe. The activity represents the first regional project encouraging competition among municipalities for acquiring new investments and strengthening economic relations inside the region.

Factoring Training to Improve Competitiveness of Serbian Businesses
Photo: lokalnirazvoj.rs

April 15, 2014 - The Project, in cooperation with USAID's Business Enabling Project, held a joint factoring workshop for interested local business from the Novi Pazar-led Inter-Municipal Cooperation (IMC) Area (encompassing Novi Pazar, Sjenica and Tutin) designed to present factoring and the business advantages it brings. Factoring is a service which gives businesses the ability to charge claims for goods sold or services rendered before the payment due date.

As Serbia has a volatile business climate in which small and medium sized enterprises have a hard time securing payment for their products or services, factoring is particularly useful as it allows companies to increase their liquidity, eases cash flow management and improves credit ratings. It is particularly useful to companies engaged in import/export, as well as sales of goods and services on deferred payment. Representatives of the factoring agency ‘Jubmes Faktor’ as well as the Societe Generale Serbia Bank spoke at the event. They provided more information about the function of factoring, last year’s new Factoring Law and answered questions from attending businesses. Seventeen participants took part in the workshop, representing various IMC Area businesses from the denim and footwear sectors, such as Maxers, Bros Jeans, Ceco Line. Through factoring Serbian companies can become more competitive, expand their businesses and increase sales.

Bringing Vocation Education Training in Line with Local Business Needs
Photo: lokalnirazvoj.rs

April 11, 2014 - Last week, in partnership with the Sandzak Economic Development Agency (SEDA), the Project organized two training for pupils and teachers of the Novi Pazar Vocational Design School to enhance participants’ knowledge in skills needed by local employers. The first training was attended by twenty-six participants and was titled "Basic Trends in Contemporary Fashion Design," covering issues such as: fashion forecasting, market trends in the fashion industry and well as new trends in textile use.

The second training taught thirty participants how to design and model textiles in the industry-specific OptiTex and C-Design programs. These programs enable businesses to complete virtual designs and develop new clothing models much faster and at lower costs. This activity is part of a $60,000 Project grant to SEDA for analyzing the growth potentials of leading sectors in the Sandzak region and providing workforce development assistance in line with identified sector needs.

Connecting Businesses with Prospective Buyers
Photo: www.gds-online.com

April 9, 2014 - As part of efforts to connect local manufacturers with international shoe producers, the Project sponsored participation of local companies at the GDS International Trade Fair, in Germany. In preparation for the fair, a Project expert helped Novi Pazar and Vranje –led IMC Area footwear companies select the most suitable models and present them to potential buyers. During the fair, over sixty enquires were made by interested companies, while large manufacturers requested samples based on their original shoes.

As a result of contacts made at the fair and the footwear on display, a London-based company has contacted several shoe manufacturers and requested that the companies produce test samples of women’s shoes. The UK company is interested in placing an initial order if the provided samples are satisfactory. Several other companies are interested in touring and evaluating the production facilities of other footwear companies within the two IMC Areas. The Project will continue activities aimed at helping Serbian shoe manufacturers increase exports to the global footwear market, raise business revenue and generate new jobs. 

New Laboratory Equipment Delivered to Subotica Public Health Institute
Photo: lokalnirazvoj.rs

April 7, 2014 - The Project delivered new laboratory equipment to the Subotica Public Health Institute that will upgrade the Institute’s capacity and enable analysis of regional food products. Until now, the Institute’s laboratory was unable to provide proper food testing to certify that local agricultural products meet strict EU and Russian market requirements. Farmers and food processors in the region had to travel hours away to conduct proper testing of their crops, thus increasing the costs of analysis for export.

Thanks to the Project, the laboratory now has the equipment and capacities to test for the presence of pesticides and pollutants in line with EU and other market regulations. SLDP also helped in training laboratory staff to use this new equipment. The Institute will work closely with farmers and crop protection specialists to familiarize them with the proper use of crop chemicals and export requirements, enabling increased export to desired markets. The next step is to certify the new laboratory services with the Serbian Accreditation Body, and the city of Subotica agreed to assist the laboratory with this. The fully equipped and accredited laboratory will help farmers and food processors increase export sales of agricultural and food products from the Subotica-led IMC Area. 

Sum: 225 articles.
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