The most successful companies in the area are food producer Bambi, TE-KO – Termoelektrane i Kopovi Company from Kostolac (former Kostolac Industrial and Energy Combine), Veolia Transport (former TP Litas) and Žitostig. Small businesses, construction and agriculture are also developing rapidly here, thanks to the fact that some of the rural population works abroad and usually invests their savings in small family businesses, construction and the services sector.
Construction of the Požarevac Industrial Zone started in 2011. Is it now completely finished? You bought a former sugar plant from the state last year and, as a result, Požarevac now has more land available in the industrial zone. Are there any investors interested in launching operations in this zone?
– All planned industrial zones in the city of Požarevac are regulated by the General Spatial Plan. There will be a possibility of constructing businesses and industrial facilities, as well as facilities for other purposes. The North Block of the Industrial Zone in Požarevac comprises the revitalised old industrial zone and a new segment connected to the old zone. The industrial zone is linked to Požarevac and the surrounding area via state roads of the first and second order, corridors 10 and 7, and the Belgrade-Majdanpek railroad.
The new block received complete infrastructure in 2013, including internal and access roads, sewer connections and rainwater drainage, a gas supply system, communal lighting, a transformer station, TS and MN networks and other facilities.
HAVING A FREE ZONE WOULD MEAN A LOT FOR OUR POPULATION, THE MAJORITY OF OUR WORKERS AND POTENTIAL INVESTORS. IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT FREE ZONES ARE EXCEPTIONALLY APPEALING TO FOREIGN INVESTORS. WE ARE GOING TO ALLOCATE AN AREA FOR A FREE ZONE IN SPATIAL PLANNING DOCUMENTS REGULATING THE INDUSTRIAL ZONE
We have launched a public call that is open to legal entities and individuals (both domestic and foreign), relating to the construction of planned production capacities. Several investors have already expressed interest.
Following the purchase of the movable and immovable assets of the Požarevac Sugar Factory, we have created the opportunity to establish new production facilities.
We are currently preparing a tender in which all interested parties can participate, whether they are legal entities or individuals (domestic and foreign).
It was announced that Israel-based company Aviv Arlon would build a retail park in Požarevac. How far along is that project?
– Aviv Arlon is currently busy leasing its facilities to interested retailers and we expect official confirmation of the launch of the bidding procedure for the purchase of the land to be made soon.
What have the local authorities been doing to entice investors and are there major investors who are willing to invest in Požarevac in the near future?
– We have established contact with a number of interested investors and foreign delegations. The local authorities have been preparing spatial planning documents and we plan to adopt a new Decision on Incentives for Investors in 2016, in accordance with the Law on Investment. Aviv Arlon is currently our biggest investor.
Is there any chance of Požarevac opening a free zone and, if so, how important would that be for the city and its population?
– There is interest because having a free zone would mean a lot for our population, the majority of our workers and potential investors. It has been proven that free zones are exceptionally appealing to foreign investors. We are going to allocate an area for a free zone in spatial planning documents regulating the industrial zone.
Industrial corporations like Bambi and TE-KO Kostolac are the engines that drive Požarevac’s development. What is happening to small businesses? In which way do the city’s authorities support the development of SMEs?
APART FROM DEVELOPMENT OF TE-KO KOSTOLAC AND LOCAL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, SPECIAL ATTENTION SHOULD BE PAID TO DEVELOPING TOURISM, BECAUSE THE CITY OF POŽAREVAC IS LOCATED BETWEEN THREE RIVERS (THE DANUBE, THE VELIKA MORAVA AND THE MLAVA) AND HAS MANY HISTORICAL SITES
– In terms of the Serbian and local energy sector, TE-KO Kostolac is definitely the engine that drives development. The Bambi Concern does the same for the food industry.
The City of Požarevac plans to revitalise the old industrial zone and factories that used to be the driving force behind the agricultural development of this area.
The city allocates substantial funds every year that are aimed at boosting agricultural production and helping farmers (crop farming, cattle breeding, wine growing etc.).
What do you think of the overall economic situation in the city and what should be done to improve Požarevac’s economic image?
– In my opinion, Požarevac’s development in the period ahead will be based on implementing all of our development plans for the TE-KO Kostolac and especially development plans for the agriculture and food industries, because this area has a lot of fertile land.
Which economic branches have the greatest development potential for the city?
– Apart from development of TE-KO Kostolac and local agricultural production, special attention should be paid to developing tourism, because the city of Požarevac is located between three rivers (the Danube, the Velika Morava and the Mlava) and has many historical sites (Viminacium, Požarevački Mir, Ljubičevo Stables etc.).
How have you contributed personally to the economic development of Požarevac since you’ve been the city’s mayor?
– Many utility and infrastructure projects have been implemented in Požarevac in the last four years (roads, sewers, rainwater drainage, 260km of gas supply grid, construction of two nurseries, construction of two water wells and others).
Following the construction of production facilities in the new industrial zone and the revitalisation of the old zone, we have created numerous job opportunities for young people.