Economic Development and Infrastructure
The Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja recognized development and investment in the economy as the basis for the economic recovery and development of the municipalities. The strategic priorities include the following: recovery of the companies that were responsible for the development of three municipalities, support to small and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurs and cooperatives and attraction of investments into these three municipalities.
When it comes to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurs and cooperatives, the Coordination Body’s Office, in cooperation with the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Mevedja and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, compiled, in 2012, a program for awarding grants to businessmen in these three municipalities. The goal of this program is to support development of the economic potential of the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja and increase the production of small and medium-sized companies, entrepreneurs and agricultural cooperatives. The funds are intended for small and medium-sized companies, entrepreneurs and agricultural cooperatives that have their head offices in the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja.
Based on the program, the Coordination Body’s Office, in November 2012, announced an open competition for the award of grants to all three municipalities in the amount of 40 million dinars. The competition was conducted by the commission, which included representatives of the Coordination Body’s Office and the municipalities, as well as an independent expert in economics. Of the 40 entrepreneurs who applied, 15 entrepreneurs received the funds: 7 from the municipality of Bujanovac, 5 from the municipality of Presevo and 3 from the municipality of Medvedja.
In 2013, the Coordination Body’s Office re- announced the open competition for the allocation of subsidies in the amount of 60 million. On conducting the competition, a total of 22 entrepreneurs received the funding: 10 from the municipality of Bujanovac, 8 from the municipality of Presevo and 4 from the municipality of Medvedja. 60 million dinars have been allocated for this purpose in the Coordination Body’s Office’s budget for 2014.
The implementation of the program for allocation of funds for subsidies is of strategic interest of the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja. The result of the conducted competitions is an increase in the number of employees, the empowerment of small and medium-sized companies, entrepreneurs and agricultural cooperatives to effectively connect with the local, regional, national and international markets, an improvement in production that is aimed at achieving economic growth, an improvement in competitiveness in domestic and foreign markets and an improvement in the production intended for export or for substitution of import.
In April 2013, the Coordination Body organized the first Fair of Investment Potentials, as a continuation of the economic development and the attraction of investments in the municipalities. Apart from the Coordination Body, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the municipalities and the Office for Local Economic Development of Presevo, Bujanovac, took part in organizing the Fair of Economic Potential.
The municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja presented at the fair their economic potential and investment opportunities. Participants in the fair, who were from these municipalities, had an opportunity to talk directly with their potential partners, which included investment funds, local institutions, state agencies, other companies and banks.
During the fair, a round table on the topic of "State Support to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises - Sources of Financing" was organized, which was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Self-government, the National Agency for Regional Development and the Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion of the Republic of Serbia. Representatives of all of these institutions confirmed their commitment to the economic development and empowerment of the underdeveloped municipalities in the southern part of central Serbia.
The recovery of businesses that used to be carriers of economic development of the three municipalities is extremely important for the economic development of South Serbia. Since the beginning of 2013, the Coordination Body has been dedicated to carrying out the activities of reviving the former pivot of the economic development of Bujanovac, which is the socially-owned enterprise "Gumoplastika”. "Gumoplastika" was founded back in 1959 and it deals with the processing of plastics, rubber and metals, as well as with shoe-manufacturing.
Bankruptcy proceedings were launched against the company in 1998. Thanks to the joint efforts of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Coordination Body, after a 15-year period, "Gumoplastika" is out of bankruptcy and has begun another era of business as a limited liability company. The next step of the Coordination Body and of the municipality of Bujanovac is to find investors for reviving the manufacturing activity of the company.
The economic development of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja is a key priority of the Coordination Body and the Government of the Republic of Serbia.