The third session of the Club of Cities and Municipalities with a favorable business environment was held on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, on the premises of MIND Park. The host of the third working meeting of the Club was the city of Kragujevac.
The meeting was attended by the Mayor of Nis and the President of the Club Dragana Sotirovski, a member of the City Council of Kragujevac Sanja Tucakovic, Executive Director of NALED Violeta Jovanovic, Executive Director of MIND Group Darko Djoric, and Assistant Minister of Spatial Planning and Urbanism from the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Đorđe Milić.
Representatives of leading cities and municipalities in Serbia discussed a reform package in the field of property and legal relations, acceleration and shortening of the legalization procedure, the introduction of the eSpace system, abolition of conversion for a fee, and completion of the Cadastre reform. The club will also work on the development of eServices, strengthening the capacity of the Local Economic Development Offices, as well as improving and innovating the criteria of the BFC SEE standard within the upcoming procedure of revision and adoption of the IV edition of standards. Sanja Tucakovic, a member of the City Council of the City of Kragujevac, emphasized the importance of the Club, which takes care of the business environment and cooperation of local self-governments in improving procedures and regulations important for successful business in the local area.
-MIND Park, where investors such as Siemens, Auto Lift, and soon Skoda operate, but also reinvestors such as Janfeng and Vakernojson said that the city of Kragujevac is an example of good practice and is well-positioned among investors as a city with a favorable business environment. Tucakovic explained that the fact of the constant decline of the unemployment rate in Kragujevac speaks in favor of that. The Mayor of Nis and the President of the Club, Dragana Sotirovski, pointed out that this is the final joint position presented before the state bodies, that refers to the issues of land conversion, legalization, and consolidation. She explained the importance of abolishing the fee for land conversion, which is extremely important for the city of Nis and businessmen who operate there, keeping in mind that resolving this issue will increase investments, with new plants and new job openings.
The Executive Director of NALED, Violeta Jovanović, said that the local self-government should understand the importance of resolving disputed property and legal relations if it wants to take a step towards a more favorable investment environment, and encouraged all Club members to address their local problems. - NALED will continue to work on the development of digitalization procedures, primarily on legalization, to speed up that procedure, as well as the introduction of the eSpace system, abolition of conversion for a fee, and completion of the Cadastre reform, Jovanovic emphasized.
To encourage municipalities to be more efficient in issuing construction permits, NALED presented the annual report for 2021, highlighting the most successful cities and municipalities in this area. According to the data, the city of Kragujevac is currently 5th in terms of the success of issuing construction permits. The special guest of the session was Assistant Minister for Spatial Planning and Urbanism, Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Djordje Milic, with discussed institutional support for the development projects in the field of construction and infrastructure, the potential of eSpace reform, and the digitalization of the procedure of preparation, coordination, monitoring and of planning documents in the Republic of Serbia. At the end of the session, all those present visited the production plant of MIND Park, one of the largest and most modern industrial parks in this part of Europe, built for the needs of the most demanding industries in the world. On that occasion, the host expressed hope that other representatives of local self-governments will recognize their development chance following this example, with the readiness and will of club members to offer help and support in implementing initiatives in the field of wastewater treatment in their cities and municipalities.
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