USAID hosting third “Invest in Serbia” competition
31. March 2010. | 09:31
On Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at the Hyatt Hotel in Belgrade, USAID’s Municipal Economic Growth Program will organize the grand finale of the “Invest in Serbia” municipal competition in investment promotion.
The event will be formally opened at 11:00, with remarks by the President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce Milos Bugarin, USAID’s Mission Director Michael Harvey, and others.
The announcement of the winners is scheduled for 14:30, and awards to the winning municipalities in various categories will be presented by U.S. Ambassador Mary Warlick, Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mlađan Dinkić, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Integration Božidar Đelić, and Minister for Environment and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulić.
Two panel discussions open to media representatives will be held parallel to the booth exhibitions of municipalities in the Crystal Ballroom.
From 12:00 - 13:00, the panel discussion under the theme “From the Business Perspective: Cooperation Between the Public and Private Sectors”, will be held in the Belgrade Conference Hall, and will facilitate an open dialogue among Managers of leading businesses (Vip Mobile, Philip Morris/DIN, Holcim Paraćin, Telenor, US Steel) and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.
The second panel discussion titled "Ask the Ambassadors – Serbia in the Global Market"will be organized in the same room from 13:00 to 14:00, and will facilitate an open dialogue among the Ambassadors of the U.S., Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Slovenia with the mayors of participating municipalities.
The pre-screening and evaluation of municipalities for the final Invest in Serbia 2010 competition was an on-going process throughout March, and the municipalities will also be judged by their presentations during the exhibition at the March 31st finale, when the jury will also cast their final votes for the winners in all categories.
Thirty cities and municipalities will be competing in the following categories: Most successful municipality/city in investment promotion 2010; Best economic data; Best promotional material; Best presentation at the fair; and Best success story.
The panel of more than 60 judges includes representatives of some of the largest companies in Serbia, such as Ball Packaging, Microsoft, Telekom, as well as the commercial attachés of foreign embassies, and representatives of international organizations, government institutions, and the media.
USAID, together with its partners in this initiative - NALED, SIEPA, Privredna Banka Beograd, Telenor, Vip Mobile, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce – have jointly provided prizes worth nearly $200,000 dollars for the winners of the competition.
The main prizes include participation in a study tour to the USA, participation in an international investment fairs, and participation at a trade forum in Germany; while some of the other prizes include a weekend for two in Vienna, blackberries, notebook computers, etc.
USAID’s Municipal Economic Growth program works with select Serbian municipalities and cities to help them to create business-friendly environments and to promote themselves to potential investors. Over the past five years, municipalities working with USAID’s program have already attracted over one billion Euros in investments and created 13,200 new jobs.
The “Invest in Serbia” Competition is an opportunity for local governments and the business community to network with each other and provides a forum through which future cooperation can be established and the economic development of Serbia improved. It also presents an opportunity for municipalities to exchange ideas on how to better promote themselves. The first “Invest in Serbia” competition was organized in 2006.