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Vujadin Šćekić, Director Of Jugoimpex D.O.O. Niš

Recycling Is Our Chance

Jugoimpex d.o.o., from the city of Niš, is one of our country’s leading companies when it comes to the bulk collection and processing of raw materials, and the recycling of electrical and electronic waste. After commemorating 30 years of successful operations recently, it is entering its 4th decade with great optimism and major plans

The pandemic showed us how vulnerable we all are individually, how difficult it is to function and do business when borders are closed, and how important it is to develop one’s own potential. I hope for the strengthening of our economy, because only a strong economy can handle strong blows, says Jugoimpex Diector Vujadin Šćekić.

How would you evaluate the situation in the domain of collecting, processing and recycling waste? Is Serbia advancing in this area?

Jugo Impex– Although the situation isn’t great, I must mention that things are slowly changing for the better. In this phase, the education of society as a whole is better, with understanding of the importance of what we are dealing with growing from year to year, and thus along with it the understanding of the importance of environmental efforts. We are seeing growth of the number of products made from recycled raw materials on the market, but there is also growing awareness that our entire society has an obligation to implement quality technologies as much as possible, and to recycle them.

In that sense, we are slowly moving closer to Europe, both in terms of quantities and in terms of the quality of recycling. I’m an optimist, so I believe that we will approach recycling and the obligation to recycle with greater understanding in the period ahead. You know that our goal shouldn’t be to open an EU accession negotiation chapter and work on it in an administrative sense, rather to implement that chapter in all segments of the state and society, for those principles to be accepted by everyone, from the economy and citizens, to the government and administration.

We export industrial and other waste collected in the recycling process because we don’t have sufficient processing capacities

Could you explain the concept of the circular economy to us? How do you assess NALED’s estimate that 30,000 new jobs could be created in Serbia by 2023 on the basis of the circular economy?

– The essence of the circular economy is finding and giving added value to raw materials that we previously considered waste. So, everything that is classed as waste should be separated, recycled and prepared to be part of the raw materials that can be processed to create a product for the market. That product should have the same quality as a product made from primary raw materials.

The potentials are extremely high, and when it comes to the number of potential new jobs I’m more optimistic than NALED. However, none of that can be implemented without a system that’s regulated regarding the use of products from the circular economy. Apart from good will and the vision to create 30,000 new jobs, we also need a realistic and positive investment climate. That would contribute to products from ecological processes having a priority and an advantage on the domestic market, to be marked with a “green apple” or some other label that shows that they were created in a process that preserved our natural resources and reduced imports of raw materials. Such products and manufacturers should have an advantage and a better position, both on shelves and in tenders.

A special problem in our country is represented by industrial and other waste collected in the recycling process that we have to export because we don’t have sufficient processing capacities. This represents another great potential that could be realized if we had a good investment climate.

How much does your membership in the American Chamber of Commerce mean to you?

– We are proud of the fact that our company is a member of the chamber of the world’s strongest economy, because that says a lot about us. They do a lot of work to improve conditions for doing business in Serbia, and to support their members. This membership is important to us because of the exchanges of experience, because of contacts and possibilities to cooperate with the best, and to learn from the biggest and the best.

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