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DMFebruary 13, 20203min521

 

Financial Times fDi magazine has published a ranking list of the financial, economic and business potentials of cities and regions of Europe. These rankings identify the cities and regions with the most promising potential for investment, economic development and economic growth. The City of NiS once again found itself in this list of the most promising cities based on its potential, evident growth of foreign investments and quality support of the city administration to local economic development and investments through the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects. The years of continuous work and support of the Office and institutions of local self-government, as well as significant support of the Republic of Serbia are behind this prestigious recognition and the results that have led to it. In 2018/19 City of Nis ranked 7th. This year, based on the prestigious magazine’s report and officially rank, the City of Nis climbed up the ranking ladder  and ranked 6th in the category of small European cities of the future for 2020/2021 in terms of development strategy and 5th in the category referring to the  terms of profitability for investment. Financial Times collected data using special on-line tools, fdi references and data from the fdi market, as well as other sources. Data were collected for 489 locations and 150 regions in five categories: economic potential, human capital, operating costs, infrastructure and business environment. The locations received a maximum of 10 points for each category, as measured by the importance in the foreign investment realization process, to rank cities and regions first in the subgroups and then in the final ranking groups. In addition, the research was conducted in six categories of the foreign direct investments. In this category, the ranking participants themselves submitted reports detailing their strategy for attracting foreign investment, which was then evaluated by a Financial Times jury. The jury also considered the size of the cities and regions, so they were divided into large, medium, small and micro. The evaluation criteria were numerous: 20 in the area of economic potential, 15 in the area of human capital and quality of life, 18 in the area of business costs, 19 in the area of availability, i.e. geographical position and transport links and 23 criteria for the business environment, i.e. for the support provided by the city administration to the implementation of the FDI projects.


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DMDecember 23, 20191min455

The representatives of the Russian State Pedagogical University Herzen from St. Petersburg and the University of Nis met at the Nis City Hall in order to keep the Russian language in primary and secondary schools in Nis, but also in order to facilitate holding lectures in the Russian language. The two universities will jointly implement the project, which will be funded by the Russian side. The idea for this project came from the state level, and Nis was selected to be the representative of the Serbian side, said Deputy Mayor Milos Bandjur. He said the Russian side was ready to fund the project as a whole. The Deputy Mayor said that the content and the manner of implementation would be defined in the coming period. He pointed out that the need for learning Russian language was increasing. In continuation of the visit to Nis, the delegation laid flowers on the monument to the Russian pilots killed in World War II, and then visited the Museum of Former Concentration Camp Crveni Krst and the Skull Tower memorial complex.


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DMDecember 6, 20193min323

 

 

For the second time the Festival of Drama and Theater in the Balkan cultural area “Theater at the Crossroads” will be held in Nis, March 11-19, 2020. In addition to eight productions in competition selection from Serbia and the region an entire series of accompanying programs will be organized: the round table of critique, the panel discussion, as well as promotions of books and theatre journals. This year Festival is organized under the patronage of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. As the only theatre festival with an idea to gather theatre art of the Balkan cultural space in one place, the Theatre at the Crossroads aims at affirming similarities and differences of the cultural identity of countries and peoples sharing the same space, of the country of Serbia and Niš as the crossroads of European and world routes, and strengthening international cultural exchange, promoting theatre art and theatre creators, exchanging ideas and theatre practices and it is committed to challenges and perspectives of the contemporary theatre. “Apart from the fact that all the offered performances represent exceptional artistic achievements, it should be emphasized that several productions from this selection are a good example of permeating differences that belong to the Balkan crossroads and, in particular, opening up the possibility of reconsidering the relation of the theaters from these areas to the drama classics and questioning the meaning of the term.” freedom, “said the director of the Nis National Theater and Spasoje Z. Milovanovic. The support to the festival this year was given by the City of Nis and Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatović.  “Life does not make sense without culture, and together we should work not only to preserve culture and art, but also to promote it. Nis once again shows that it has this capacity. When it comes to art and creativity the progress is evident. The support of the city is bigger from year to year when the organization of the Festival is in question, so we increased the amount of funds for all festivals in Nis for the next year”, said Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatović. The Mayor said that the city was also taking care of the necessary infrastructure for the functioning of the cultural institutions and that it has allocated funds from the city budget for these purposes. Also the city plans to to build a new multifunctional cultural facility with the capacity of up to 2,000 seats.


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DMDecember 4, 20192min299

Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic with his associates met with French Ambassador Jean-Louis Falconi at Nis City Hall to discuss the potential cooperation projects. The mayor said that the French Development Agency would support the city in developing a feasibility study, not only for light rail transport, i.e., for the introduction of trams into public city transport, but also for the development of a land use after the railroad track displacement. “These are the activities that await us over the next three years. We have started the preparatory activities related to the study itself, which should meet all the challenges of modern times.” said Mayor Bulatovic.  The Union for the Mediterranean, the European Union, the French Development Agency and the European Investment Bank have joined forces to build a successful transition towards sustainable cities. The Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI) supports public project promoters helping them to prepare and finance ambitious and innovative urban development projects, which aim to create jobs, reduce poverty and upgrade the urban fabric. The UPFI is an innovative tool coordinating the actions of financial institutions by pooling complementary technical and financial tools in order to achieve a common objective: to set a benchmark for sustainable cities.  French Ambassador Jean Louis Falconi said that the topics discussed were archaeological sites in Niš, Waste Water Treatment Plant, the opening of a Science and Technology Park, the cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises of the two countries.


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DMDecember 4, 20193min382

NEW US AMBASSADOR TO SERBIA VISITED NIS

December 3

 

Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic met with new US Ambassador to Serbia Anthony Godfrey. The Mayor congratulated the Ambassador on his appointment and welcomed him to Nis, since this was his first visit to our city. At the meeting in the City Hall they both expressed satisfaction with the results so far and assessed that there were no obstacles for the improvement of the cooperation in all areas in the future. One example was Novi Niš Project, which is being implemented by the American company Clean Earth Capital, and where, as it was said, the first phase is expected to be successfully completed by spring next year, which would enable the continuation of work on the creation of a completely new part of the city. The Mayor informed Ambassador Godfrey about the potential of Niš in the economic, educational and cultural segments, and especially about the efforts of the local government in cooperation with the Government and the President of Serbia to make Niš a better place for living and doing business especially in terms of attracting new investors, both when it comes to large infrastructure projects, such as a wastewater treatment plant, and when it comes to organizing and improving the work of local government institutions essential for the functioning of the economy. The importance of education systems, from secondary schools to the university, was especially emphasized, as a source of professional labor that set Niš apart from other cities in Serbia and was one of the basic preconditions for attracting new investors. The importance of the American Corner, which was the first of its kind in Serbia, was emphasized at the meeting, and the importance of the participation of the United States Agency for Development (USAID) in the realization of numerous development projects in Niš in the past several decades. Mayor Bulatovic and Ambassador Godfrey agreed that, in terms of politics, the continuation of Serbia’s EU accession process was extremely important, and the Mayor stressed that it was essential to preserve peace and stability in the region of the Western Balkans as the basic precondition for any progress and prosperity.


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DMNovember 25, 20192min252

 

November 20

 

The Government of Sweden-funded United Nations Development Program (UNDP)  Project Platform for Responsible Public Financial Management will work to strengthen partnerships between local government units and civil society by building a more transparent approach to funding civil society organizations from local government budget in accordance with local needs. The project will also contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Development Agenda. The Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the City was signed in Sabac, in the presence of Minister without portfolio Slavica Djukic Dejanovic and UNDP Permanent Representative in Serbia Francine Pickup. On that occasion, City of Nis Assistant Mayor Marina Kostic emphasized the importance of establishing a unique methodology for allocating funds to civil society organizations from the budget of local self-governments. In accordance with the principles of participatory democracy and European Union standards the priorities are strengthening responsible local government, transparency and governmental actions towards the needs of citizens, as well as enhancing public and citizen participation in public policy-making. The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to eradicate poverty, protect the environment and ensure peace and prosperity for all. The aim of the project is to provide technical support to selected local governments: Bac, Raska, Vrnjacka Banja, Valjevo and Nis to adopt and implement a more transparent, development-oriented and project-based approach to NGO funding over the next two years. They will commit themselves to allocate funding for NGO projects more transparently, that is, to apply transparent criteria and procedures in the allocation of public funds and to allow a participatory approach in defining local priorities


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DMNovember 20, 20192min350

 

November 19

 

The Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Ambassador Sam Fabrizi visited Nis where he met with Mayor Darko Bulatovic and then presented certificates for the implementation of 19 projects that would improve GIS in 34 local self – governments. The European Union will support the acquisition of software and hardware and other computer equipment through the EU PRO program with 1.7 million euros, which will help local-governments create the preconditions for sustainable development. With these tools, local governments will be able to collect, process, and manage spatial data in one place, better plan local development and resource management, while local government employees will receive GIS training. At the certificate awarding ceremony it was also said that the development of geographic information systems will allow for better spatial and urban planning, promoting tourism potential, preserving and promoting cultural, natural and urban heritage, and will make it easier for local governments to respond to citizens and investors. As an end result of GIS implementation, it was pointed out that the number of investments and jobs is expected to increase. After the ceremony held at Nis City Hall the Ambassador visited the Ni-Cat cluster and the StartUp center at the Faculty of Electronic Engineering.


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DMOctober 30, 20192min411

October 29

 

The delegation of the Austrian Employment Service, which is the guest of the Nis branch of the National Employment Service, met with Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic. The aim of the meeting was to present to the representatives of the Austrian delegation the local government, which was good example when it came to investing locally in active employment policy measures implemented in the city for several years. One of the information heard on this occasion is that Austrian companies operating in Serbia employ more than 20,000 people, but that 38,000 Serbs have citizenship in Austria. In 2018 alone, 3,000 new approvals were issued, 2,000 of which were through employers, and 1,000 were personal requests and these are people with higher education, In this country, most Serbs are employed in construction and masonry, and then in tourism. Many people work as cooks or waiters, but there are many in the metal industry. “The National Employment Service of the Republic of Serbia has traditionally had good relations with the Austrian Employment Service, especially since 2015 when we signed the protocol on cooperation between the two services. During this period we had the opportunity to learn from a well-organized service, if not the best in Europe, how to apply some of their experiences, how to work with employers, with unemployed persons, how to use funds for programs and measures of active employment policy” said Zoran Martinovic, the director of the Serbian National Employment Service. In Serbia, about 500,000 people are currently registered with the National Employment Service, and this number is decreasing from month to month. The unemployment rate is 10.3 percent, the lowest ever recorded. We hope to get closer to the European rate.