At an official ceremony held on June 26th at the Hall of the National Assembly, the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) and the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development awarded five new certificates to cities Novi Sad, Smederevo, Uzice, Krusevac and the municipality of Paracin, as local governments that met the criteria and acquired the status of a business-friendly city/municipality.
In addition to the certificate award, NALED also signed an agreement with the international certification companies TUV from Germany and SGS from Switzerland, which will further strengthen the certification process.
Serbian Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the Ministry of Economy participated in such project as NALED Business-Friendly Certification.
- There are over 100 municipalities in Serbia with one or more foreign investments. Still, 90% of these investments are near the Corridor X, which indicates that it is necessary to further improve the infrastructure, in order for the investors to also come to less-developed municipalities - he said.
In his opening address, President of NALED MB Vladimir Cupic reminded that NALED had initiated the Business-Friendly Certification program with the USAID five years earlier, awarding the certificates to municipalities that had put great effort in improving their business environment.
- It is my pleasure to point out that we have 21 municipalities that have earned this important certificate, while another 33 local governments have entered the process and are working hard to meet necessary requirements. And that is not an easy process at all, as there are more than 100 criteria and sub-criteria that they need to meet to get a positive assessment – said Cupic, emphasizing that NALED would continue to influence the improvement of business environment in Serbia.
- At this time, the certification process is strengthened by introducing the two most famous certification companies into the game – SGS and TUV, as they will be an additional signal of the certification quality - Cupic added.
The official ceremony was attended by a large number of distinguished guests, including the representatives of government institutions, foreign embassies, investors, international community, domestic businesses, local governments and the media, such as German Ambassador Wolfram Maas, Israeli Ambassador Yossef Levy, Deputy Chief of the US Mission to Serbia Lee Litzenberger, Head of European Integration and Economic Section at the EU Delegation in Serbia Frank Janmaat and others.