The Municipality of Gadžin Han hasn’t attracted any new investors in the last 10 years, because it had nothing to offer them. Things started to change last year when works started on the opening of the industrial zone that has attracted the interest to the first investors
Although the employment bureau has registered excellent and professional personnel for various jobs, the municipality would be ready to organise training courses and additional qualifications if required, in order for as many of the 1,400 registered unemployed local people as possible to secure work.
Your municipality is the only one in Serbia that doesn’t have an industrial zone, but you are working on that. Are there any interested investors on hold?
We’ve used strategic documents to define industrial zones on the territory of the municipality, and one of them, the north industrial zone, is located at the very entrance to Gadžin Han. We repurchased land and earmarked funds for the preparation of project-technical documentation. All that cost us 15-16 million dinars, and now we are preparing documentation for equipping it in terms of infrastructure, which includes access roads, water supply, sewage and electricity. We have investors interested in coming to Gadžin Han, but we need a little more time to finalise this job. Our budget is small, amounting to only 400 million dinars, which is why we need the help of the state.
Prime Minister Ana Brnabić recently paid you a visit and promised help in finding investors. What could be opened in the abandoned production hall that you visited?
That’s a hall of 2,500 square metres that’s located within the framework of the Elid company. After that company went bankrupt, it came under the ownership of the Directorate for Property, which would give it to our municipality if an investor is found. During her visit, the Prime Minister expressed her intention to bring a serious investor that we could give the hall to, on condition that it employs 50 or 100 workers. We would most like for that to be a clothing factory, in order to employ as many women as possible, because there are more of them registered with the National Employment Service.
Four people are currently included in the project “It’s never too late to start”, which runs for 18 months
Only two companies operate on the territory of your municipality: Elid, with 50 workers, and Resor, with about 100 employees. Could they expand their capacities and hire additional workers with subsidies or some other assistance?
Resor deals with the upgrading of utility vehicles and employs about a hundred workers, while Elid, with its 50 employees, is engaged in the production of electrical materials of exceptional quality. Their products could satisfy even the most demanding markets, but they lack ISO standards and certificates, which are extremely expensive in and of themselves. If they had them, they could reorientate themselves towards exports and expand their production capacities, because the space available would enable that, and increase the number of workers, but they can’t do any of that without subsidies and significant assistance.
Money and time are required for that, but I believe that would ultimately be good for everyone.
The project “It’s never too late to start” provides an opportunity for unemployed people to take the first steps towards developing their own business. Is there much interest?
This is a “Start-up Centre” that we opened in the building we bought from the former Zaplanjka, which we equipped with computers and video, then made a conference room and created optimal conditions for writing business plans. Four people are currently included in the project “It’s never too late to start”, which runs for 18 months. I think the project will be extended, and the idea is for the authors of the three best business plans to receive help from the state, both in terms of money and equipment, to launch their businesses. This is a good way to reduce unemployment and, even more importantly, to motivate people, primarily young people, to take their lives and their destinies into their own hands.
photo: Gradski portal 018