Why are industrial parks important and attractive? From the perspective of the development of local self-governments, they are important because they attract foreign and domestic investments and increase local employment. From the perspective of the companies, industrial parks are attractive business premises, because the system for obtaining the documentation they need is well-developed and the requisite infrastructure is in place. One of the good examples is the Industrial Park in Smederevo, the development of which was supported by the European Union through the EU PRO Programme.
Investments in the electrical installations provide for a quality and stable electricity delivery system. The installed lighting relies on modern energy-saving bulbs. The modern Park in Smederevo has thus become an even more attractive hub for the business development of all future and current users..
All the prerequisites and infrastructure had to be in place for the Smederevo Industrial Park to attract investors and companies. “This industrial zone was partially covered with street lighting before the local self-government applied for an EU grant via the EU PRO Programme. We were granted the funds on the basis of our project documentation and successfully achieved our goals – to improve the working conditions and use of the Industrial Park’s capacities,” says Slavica Milovanović, an official of the Smederevo City Administration Local Economic Development Office.
The project involved the installation of lighting on the Industrial Park roads where there was no public lighting and a video surveillance system covering all roads and intersections. “In order to improve electricity supply, a substation and a corresponding network of underground cables were installed, along with a firefighting system. The technical conditions for connecting the future production and business facilities in the Industrial Park are now in place,” Slavica Milovanović adds.
Smederevo’s geographic position, access to the main roads and railroads, as well as the Danube Port where ships from the Red Sea moor, all of this has rendered it a city capable of responding to the requirements of specific branches of industry. “Our project aimed at improving the working conditions for the companies already working in the Industrial Park and its future users, which is in accordance with our general vision of Smederevo’s development. We wanted to improve the prerequisites for investments, business development and job creation. If we achieve that, we will be able to attract investors, which will, in turn, lead to the opening of new jobs for the people living in our local community,” Slavica Milovanović explains, adding that a new company has moved to the Industrial Park and that three plots of land have been sold to investors to build facilities on them since the works were completed. Six companies are now operating in the Smederevo Industrial Park, which is part of the city’s Industrial Zone. Three companies employing 350 people started working in the Park during the implementation of the project, over the past two years. The value of these investments exceeds 2.7 million Euros. The Park is about to complete the construction of the storage and administrative facilities, an investment worth around 811,764 Euros. Another three companies bought plots of land, worth around 770,000 Euros and are expected to open new jobs.
The Smederevo City contributed to the implementation of the project with 49,152 Euros. This investment is part of a number of other broader activities aimed at boosting the City’s economic capacities by improving the prerequisites for attracting new investments and creating jobs in the Smederevo Industrial Complex.
In addition to Smederevo, prerequisites for attracting new investments have been substantially improved in eight other local self-governments in Serbia, in which the EU in cooperation with the Ministry for European Integration supported economic infrastructure projects with over 4.5 million Euros through the EU PRO Programme. The implemented projects have improved the business environment and conditions for attracting investments and, thus, resulted in an increase in employment and better living standards.
The activities of EU PRO, a Programme contributing to the more balanced socio-economic development of Serbia, are supported by the European Union with over 25 million Euros. The Programme aims to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of micro and small enterprises, improving the business environment and strengthening social cohesion in 99 local self-government units, in two regions: the Region of Šumadija and Western Serbia and the Region of Southern and Eastern Serbia. The activities in the field are implemented by UNOPS.