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Nihat Biševac, Mayor of Novi Pazar

Life Has Returned To Novi Pazar

Thanks to political relaxation, the creation of a favourable economic environment for investment and development, as well as a large increase in the budget, over the past four years Novi Pazar has truly become the economic, cultural, transport, educational and sport centre of the region

Our future will be the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture and tourism, for which huge potential exists. This has been recognised, among others, by our successful people living in the diaspora, Novi Pazar natives who want to invest in their city, notes Mayor Biševac.

Has Novi Pazar become a regional centre and a better place to live and invest over the past four years, as you promised when you became mayor? How do you see your city in another four years?

The main goal of the local government was for Novi Pazar to become a better place to live, and we succeeded in that, because we are recording an increase in the number of residents. In the last three years we’ve issued more than 40 permits for the construction of residential buildings, and all of that must be accompanied by adequate infrastructure.

Novi Pazar

We’ve invested more than five million euros in sorting out roads and communal infrastructure, but there were also sufficient funds for health, education, culture and sport.

Reconstruction of the Stefan Nemanja Primary School cost half a million euros, while reconstruction of the high school cost 70 million dinars and 600 million dinars was invested in the Bratstvo Primary School, which will have a swimming pool when we open it in autumn. We are awaited by the arranging of the majority of rural schools and the construction of a new one, while planned investments in healthcare should reach 30 million euros.

Our budget in 2016 amounted to 2.315 billion dinars, while this year’s is 3.150, which represents an increase of around 835 million in just four years. Apart from health and education, our focus was also on culture and sport, so I can state proudly that we are among the cities that invest the most in culture and that Novi Pazar is a city with four super league clubs. That’s a big deal for a small city.

Ever more is being invested in sport, in order for athletes, as the best ambassadors of Novi Pazar, to have the best possible conditions for training

Which projects are worth investing in? What will improve the life of citizens the fastest and the most?

Investing in infrastructure, primarily in roads, pays off the most, because it attracts investors, so in the period ahead special attention should be paid to completing the bypass around Novi Pazar, arranging riverbeds, building bridges in the city centre etc. Thanks to the roads that have been built to date and the fact that Novi Pazar is an open-air museum, because there’s nowhere else in the world with so many cultural and historical monuments of Christian and Islamic culture that are under UNESCO protection, tourism is increasingly becoming a development opportunity.

This has also been recognised by our successful people from the diaspora, Novi Pazar natives who want to invest in their city. They have built eight new motels, while they are also investing in the reconstruction of existing hotels, so we are recording an increase in the number of tourists year on year. I’m particularly proud of the fact that we bought a plot of land for the construction of a new cemetery, occupational medicine, a new school and a biomass heating plant. This last project alone – the construction of the heating plant – is worth 6.5 million euros and is significant for multiple reasons.

Will the completion of the highway through Duga Poljana and increasing the number of routes from Morava Airport near Kraljevo contribute to the economic development of Novi Pazar and Sandžak as a whole?

Yes, that will certainly be very important for us. Novi Pazar has to date been overlooked by foreign investors due to the distance from the highway and airport. I’m convinced that many large investors, including our own people who’ve built large business systems in Turkey, will invest in this area. Turkish companies have so far invested everywhere else in Serbia, because we had nothing to offer them, but now that has changed, and will be even better.

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