Vladislav Živanović, Deputy Mayor Of Sombor:

Realistic Plans for Economic Development

Thanks to its geographical position in the tristate area between Serbia, Croatia and Hungary, the town of Sombor has all the necessary prerequisites to improve its competitiveness, achieve better economic results, attract both foreign and domestic direct investments and raise the population’s living standards through planned improvements in economic infrastructure

Vladislav Živanović

SomborIn order to achieve these goals, one of the Town’s priorities is to develop the free and industrial zone sector, in particular by designating and developing a free zone in the town itself, which would result in sustainable economic development. It is only fitting that the main goal of the 2014-2020 Strategy of Sustainable Development of the Town of Sombor is to boost the economic capacities and competitiveness of local businesses, as well as creating a positive environment for doing business.

How many companies currently operate in the Sombor Industrial Zone and which would you single out as being the most important? Have some investors announced their imminent arrival here and what have you been doing to attract investors?

– The following companies, ranked in terms of economic relevance (number of employees), operate in the Sombor Industrial Zone:
1. Calzedonia Group – Fiorano d.o.o. – textiles industry;
2. Sunce AD – food industry;
3. Meteor Commerce – storage and primary product processing;
4. Mara d.o.o. – production of frozen and fresh pastries and wafers.

There are several other smaller companies also doing business in the industrial zone.

In terms of attracting investments, the local authorities have been carrying out numerous activities to that end. We have established and maintained contacts with potential domestic and foreign investors, with the objective of developing cooperation with them and enticing them here.

When it comes to the arrival of major investors, we have reached an agreement with British company Poseidon Group on the construction of Capitol Park Sombor, in which this company will invest over €10 million. Around 200 workers will be hired to construct this retail park. We have also signed a contract with German supermarket chain Lidl, which is to construct its own facility on a plot next to Capitol Park Sombor. Chinese company Longin plans to build an industrial park in Sombor and we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them pertaining to the construction of a 30-hectare-industrial zone.

ONE OF OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES IN TERMS OF BUSINESS INFRASTRUCTURE IS ESTABLISHING FREE AND INDUSTRIAL ZONES, WITH THE END GOAL OF DEVELOPING A FREE ZONE IN THE TOWN OF SOMOBOR

There was talk last year about Sombor getting its own free zone. How far have you progressed on that front and what would a free zone mean for the town?

– One of our strategic priorities in terms of business infrastructure is establishing free and industrial zones, with the end goal of developing a free zone in the town of Somobor.

In 2015 we implemented a project entitled “Drafting Technical Documentation for the Establishment of the Free Zone”. As a result of this project, we conducted surveys on the preparation and implementation of the research necessary to establish the Sombor Free Zone, and on the economic viability of setting up such a zone and the territory it would cover in Sombor.

The whole process of establishing the Sombor Free Zone is being done with the goal of achieving sustainable economic development that will facilitate competitiveness, enable better business results, bring in domestic and foreign direct investments, raise the living standard of the local population and create adequate infrastructure, as well as any other condition that would boost Sombor’s development. Sombor’s main strategic goal is to attract the FDI that is crucial to the town’s development, which is why we need to utilise the opportunities created by free zones fully, as a wellknown and proven instrument of economic policy.

During the process of setting up the Free Zone, the town’s authorities and the Municipality of Apatin have reached an agreement about extending the Apatin Free Zone. The Sombor authorities are currently negotiating with several companies on the implementation of large-scale investments with the aim of having these companies occupy the free zone, which would help us complete its establishment.

Sombor

WE HAVE ACHIEVED MANY RESULTS REGARDING SOMBOR’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DURING THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT’S TERM. FIRST AND FOREMOST IS THE DRAFTING AND ADOPTING OF THE 2014-2020 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

Could you tell us something about Sombor’s business image? Does the town provide sufficient opportunities for the development of small businesses; which economic branches are the most common; are there any hidden economic opportunities; how many unemployed people do you have and what have the local authorities been doing to improve Sombor’s economic situation?

– Opportunities for the development of small business in Sombor mainly lie in agriculture, tourism and the processing industry, considering the town’s geostrategic features, natural resources and infrastructure. There are many opportunities for the development of tourist infrastructure, as Sombor doesn’t currently have hotels or motels that could take more than 50 guests.

The business sectors with the highest number of employees in Sombor are the production of textiles and footwear, food processing and production, agriculture, retail and services, and the metal processing sector and related services.

As of 31st January 2016, the town of Sombor had 7,453 people registered as unemployed, including 2,891 women (source: the National Employment Office).

The main goal of the 2014–2020 Strategy for the Sustainable Development of the Town of Sombor is to increase the economic capacities and competitiveness of local businesses, as well as creating a positive business environment. One of the measures for reducing unemployment is to devise and implement an annual Local Action Programme, which stipulates various employment policies. The measures stated in the programme would contribute significantly to the creation of new jobs (new employment programme), setting up companies, supporting entrepreneurship (self-employment) and supporting young people through work experience placements.

What has been done recently with regard to the strategic economic development of Sombor?

– We have achieved many results regarding Sombor’s economic development during the current government’s term. First and foremost is the drafting and adopting of the 2014-2020 Sustainable Development Strategy, which has been harmonised with the EU’s strategic documents that together comprise the Europe 2020 – Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.

All advancements made in terms of economic development in the last two years are the result of a joint effort of all of Sombor’s services and their excellent coordination with the work done by the town’s executive authority.

ADVANTAGES OF BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
– The certification programme for municipalities with favourable business environment
– Campaign at Nikola Tesla Airport – promotion of certified municipalities and towns
– Improving business environment on the local level through regulatory reform

Trg cara Uroša 1, 25000 Sombor
+381 25 468 111
www.sombor.rs