As of next year, investors wanting to invest in the region of Southeast Europe will have access to all relevant economic information about cities and municipalities in one place – a unique online platform developed by the Regional Network for Favourable Business Environments, led by NALED, with the support of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).
The platform was presented at the recent forum BFC SEE 2020 – standard of the business environment in Southeast Europe, which was attended by representatives of institutions and business communities from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia, which implement the programme of certifying municipalities with a favourable business environment, Business Friendly Certification Southeast Europe (BFC SEE).
In the process of deciding on investments, the private sector will have access to municipal data, contacts, information on conditions for doing business, various databases and promotional materials. This new IT tool will enable them to compare conditions for investment and rate municipalities that possess certificates that confirm their favourable business environment in the five countries.
“Apart from investors, the platform is also intended for municipalities. Local governments that have passed the certification process will have the opportunity to further strengthen their capacities through exchanges of information and good practice, while those wishing to attain this seal confirming a high-quality business environment will be able to complete all the procedures for obtaining the certificate completely electronically. State institutions will also benefit from this, as an additional source of information for the creation of incentives at the local and national levels,” announced Nebojša Zelenović, member of the NALED Managing Board and Mayor of Šabac.
BFC SEE represents a unique programme for improving the quality of services and information provided to companies by cities and municipalities. Local governments receive clear guidance on how to create a good business environment and introduce internationally recognised standards of efficient and transparent local administration.
The regional certificate has been acquired to date by 28 local governments from the five countries, while another 60 are in the process of acquiring certification. In the last three years, they have attracted more than a billion euros worth of investments, averaging up to three times more than municipalities without a certificate.
The BFC SEE programme is implemented by the Regional Network for Favourable Business Environments, which comprises 20 institutions from the five countries. The implementation of the programme is supported by the GIZ Open Regional Fund for the Modernisation of Municipal Services (GIZ ORF MMS).