The Business Friendly Environment Network South East Europe has today presented certificates to 17 cities and municipalities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, testifying that these local administrations confirming have favorable business conditions. For 39,000 entrepreneurs and businesses and 900,000 citizens, this means they can count on the highest standard of services provided by local administration.
The number of local governments in the region that have obtained the certificate so far ha risen to 54, while another 33 are currently in the certification process. The analyses have shown that the business conditions in these regions are 70% better than in cities and municipalities that have not obtained this seal of quality, and nearly three times more successful in attracting investments.
The Business Friendly Certification South East Europe program (BFC SEE) has been implemented since 2012 by more than 20 institutions and organizations from Croatia, North Macedonia, BiH, Montenegro and Serbia. The program has also been supported by the Government of Germany through its GIZ Open Regional Fund for Modernization of Municipal Services.
- BFC SEE program has proven to be not only a good instrument for improving the services on the local level, but also as an excellent platform for improving regional cooperation through exchange of experiences and best reform practices such as e-permitting, simplified registration of seasonal workers, real estate cadaster reform etc. – said the Ambassador of Germany to Montenegro Robert Weber opening the certificate award ceremony within the "Economic Conference Montenegro 2019“ in Budva.
The success of BFC SEE program has encouraged the launching of the initiative for its institutionalization as a Business Friendly Environment platform, where the governments of countries in the region would work together on regulatory standardization, all with the aim of better positioning of South East Europe on the global investment map, bearing in mind that the investors most commonly see this region as a single market. Therefore, the program has the goal of having new countries joining the BFC SEE.
The BFC SEE program provides a clear roadmap to local governments on how to create a favorable business environment and introduce internationally acknowledged standards of efficient and transparent local administration. Some of the 10 universal criteria that need to be fulfilled on their path to obtain a certificate include strategic planning of economic development, predictable costs of doing businesses, planning of infrastructure development and reliable utility services, support to entrepreneurship, cooperation with the private sector etc. The certificate is valid for three years and can be further renewed.
BFC SEE certificate holders
This year's winners of BFC SEE certificates involve cities and municipalities Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Maglaj, Zavidovići, Trebinje, Brod, Kakanj, Tešanj, Novi Grad, Žepče, Prnjavor, Bosanska Krupa and Bihać from BIH, Požarevac, Šabac and Ćuprija from Serbia, as well as the first local government from Montenegro that fulfilled the criteria for obtaining the certificate - Bijelo Polje For Šabac, this is the second time the city received the certificate, thus proving their continuous work on improving the business environment.