Milorad Milinković, President of the Municipality of Vladimirci:

Great Potential Awaits Investors

The Municipality of Vladimirci, located in the Posavsko-Tamnavski District, comprises 29 towns and villages. According to the 2002 census, some 20,373 people live in the municipality’s 6,834 households. Of the total population, 16,000 people are farmers, while agricultural land covers 28,298 hectares

VladimirciIn terms of geographical location, existing infrastructure, a river transport network and proximity to main roads and airports, the Municipality of Vladimirci has huge investment potential that primarily lies in agricultural production, where the dominant segments are crop, vegetable and fruit production, as well as cattle breeding.

Although Vladimirci is predominantly an agricultural municipality, located in the resource-rich Posavsko-Tamnavski District, it is still considered as one Serbia’s poorer areas. Why is that? Which segments of agricultural production have the greatest development potential in Vladimirci?

– Vladimirci is located in the cultivated Posavsko- Tamnavski District and is traversed by the River Sava and the River Tamnava, in the direction of Koceljeva. We are an agricultural municipality that spans an area of 50 kilometres and comprises 29 local communities. The municipality’s population is mostly engaged in clean agricultural production, of which 95 per cent is crop, fruit and vegetable production and cattle breeding. The main reason that the municipality remains undeveloped is the fact that agriculture has been neglected and is undervalued in our country. We had two leaders of agricultural production here – the Vladimirci Social Enterprise and the 7th July Enterprise, located in Debrc – which have both collapsed. Following so-called “successful” privatisation in the period between 2000 and 2005, the entire agricultural complex, cattle farms that reared 2,000 heifers annually and pig farms with an annual capacity of 10,000 pigs, were completely destroyed. The potential in terms of agricultural development lies in re-establishing cattle, fruit and vegetable cooperatives, building processing facilities (dryers and cold storage units for fruit and vegetables), launching organic production and selling finished products, as opposed to basic raw materials.

Apart from agriculture, the municipality has rich mineral, water and geo-thermal resources. How much have these resources been utilised to date and what are your future plans in this respect?

– In the settlement of Jazovik the municipality has a semi-marbled stone quarry that is used as a raw material by the sugar industry. The quarry has an almost inexhaustible capacity, while Jazovik also has huge deposits of quartz sand. A company from Singapore is interested in building two run-of-the-river hydroelectric plants in the aforementioned villages. This investment would be worth €110 million, while negotiations are pending.

There is also a plan to build a multipurpose dam in the Vukošić local community, which would have a capacity of approximately 15 million cubic metres of water, as well as creating a beautiful lake spanning 150 hectares and with a 15-metre-high water column. This would provide a great opportunity to further develop tourism here. We are additionally planning to build a lakeside ethno village that would include motels, hotels, fishing spots and hunting grounds. We also plan to increase the population of wild ducks, in order to encourage hunters from abroad to come here on hunting trips. In the town of Vladimirci we have made a 400-metre-deep geo-thermal bore that could be used by spas. The water has a temperature of about 50°C and high sulphur content making it suitable for the treatment of skin disorders. All of the aforementioned projects await investors.

Vladimirci

THERE ARE PLANS TO BUILD AN INDUSTRIAL ZONE. WE HAVE PURCHASED FIVE HECTARES OF LAND NEAR THE ENTRANCE TO VLADIMIRCI AND OUR PLAN IS TO MAKE THIS LAND AVAILABLE TO INVESTORS

There was a plan to build an industrial & business zone in Vladimirci. How is that project advancing and what importance does it hold for the municipality?

– Yes, there are plans to build an industrial zone. We have purchased five hectares of land near the entrance to Vladimirci and our plan is to make this land available to investors, as well as to provide proper infrastructure. However, this project is currently on hold due to a lack of funding.

What efforts have the local authorities exerted in an effort to attract investors to Vladimirci, and what would you say has been your biggest personal contribution to boosting the municipality’s investment climate?

– The local authorities are doing everything in their power to attract investors to the municipality. We have managed to find an investor to invest in the Faso Company, which was declared bankrupt, and we are currently finalising negotiations with the Ministry of Economy and the liquidation administrator regarding this matter. We need to install recycling equipment for all types of plastic masses – from candy wrappers to jumbo bags. This company would initially take 20 unemployed people from the local job office.

In my capacity as municipal president, in less than a year I have contributed to establishing a much simpler and faster process for issuing permits and licenses, including building permits and various others. The administrative procedure for issuing these permits is now simplified and expedited to the best of our abilities.