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23. April 2013.

Nis – The National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) invited representatives of nine municipalities in the southern part of Serbia, which include Nis, Dojevac, Gadžin Han, Leskovac, Merosina, Vranje, Bujanovac, Presevo and Vladicin Han, to resolve some of their largest problems in the field of infrastructure and services through the public-private partnership.  

Owing to the project "Public-Private Partnerships - the Key to Sustainable Development", which NALED and USAID will jointly implement, nine municipalities in Serbia will get this year help with  developing  action plans for the implementation of public-private partnerships, while NALED and USAID will arrange for them an investment conference for the purpose of attracting partners.

Filip Filipovic, NALED’s Legal Advisor, said that the project included 32 municipalities, and that they would have to decide which ideas were to compete in the "Public-Private Partnership" project until this June.  "An expert commission will select the best ideas in July, while an investment conference would be organized in November, at which the action plans for the implementation of projects through the public-private partnership would be presented to domestic and foreign investors. Most likely to be found among the selected  ideas or projects  are those ideas or projects that increase the competitiveness of local self-governments and create jobs, "said Mr. Filipovic. He said that the private sector was primarily interested in investing in projects in the field of recycling and landfill construction. Representatives of NALED  proposed to the municipalities in southern Serbia to think about the public-private partnership in the field of healthcare services. As pointed out by representatives NALED, the public-private partnership in the healthcare sector, especially in spas, could improve the quality of service, reduce the number of healthcare workers at the employment office and ensure that the healthcare sector becomes profitable. They noted that the practice of Eastern European countries showed that the initiative for the establishment of public-private partnership always moved  from the local level and that it was successfully implemented in many fields, such as in the field of taking out the trash, opening nursing homes and constructing water parks. Representatives of NALED emphasized that our country was beginning to establish  cooperation between the private and public sectors and that the interest of local self-governments to cooperate with the private sector was weak.

Source: Economic Review