On February 12th, 2018, the Financial Times fDi magazine published a ranking list of financial, economic and business potentials of cities and regions of Europe. Cities and regions with the most promising potential for investment, economic development and economic growth have been identified in these ranking lists. City of Nis is on this list of the most promising cities based on its potential, evident growth of foreign investments and quality support of the city to local economic development and investments, through the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects. The continuous work and support of the Office and institutions of local self-government, as well as the significant support of the Republic of Serbia is behind this prestigious recognition and the results.
FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/2019 ranking aims to find the most promising cities and regions in Europe, not only in the EU but also outside. Nis, officially ranks seventh in the category of small European cities of the future 2018/2019. The cities of Debrecen Hungary, Derby, UK, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Plzen, Czech Republic, Redding, UK, Deri/ Londonderry, UK, ranked better than Ns and cities such as Oulu, Finland, Middleborough, UK and Belfast, UK came after Nis on this list. Nis, as a region, was ranked according to the same criteria and came in the third place in the category of small European regions with regard to attracting foreign direct investment, after the Greate, Helsinki region in Finland and the Eindhoven region in the Netherlands. The regions in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, the Republic of Srpska and Bosna and Hercegovina ranked after Nis on this list.
In order to make shortlist of the fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/2019 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. Locations received a maximum of 10 points for each of the categories, which was measured by the significance of the process of foreign investment realization, in order to rank cities and regions first in subgroups and then in final ranking groups.
In addition, the research was carried out in six categories of foreign direct investments. In this category, the ranking the participants themselves submitted a report detailing their strategy for attracting foreign investment, which was then rated by the Financial Times jury. The jury has taken into account the size of cities and regions, so they are divided to large, medium, small and micro. Criteria for evaluation, in terms of assessment, were numerous: 20 in the sphere of economic potential, 15 in the domain of human capital and quality of life, 18 in the domain of business costs, 19 in the domain of availability, i.e., geographical position and transport connectivity and 23 criteria for the business environment, i.e., for the support that the city, i.e., the region provides to complete process of support to foreign direct investment.
City of Nis deserved this prestigious position of thanks to, above all, successful investments and the construction of new factories, which created jobs for 10,000 employees, with another 7,000 new jobs expected in the period until the final realization of the projects, the way of working and cooperation with investors, the experience of existing investors and the way of promotion and valorization of the potentials of the city: strong University of Nis, industrial tradition, the existence of infrastructure in the city and road connectivity of the city to European roads, as well as clear support of local self-government through the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects and other institutions and quality of life that are guaranteed by the current, large, infrastructural projects of the City of Nis.
Financial Times is an international business magazine that is considered one of the most respected magazines in the world, i.e., the most-read among top business people around the world, and one of the thematic publications of Financial Times is FDI Magazine.
Based on the recognized results, the City of Nis was contacted by Financial Times FDI Magazine in September 2017 and was invited to provide additional information on the basis of which the ranking was performed. It is especially important that the City of Nis received the award in the FDI Strategy category which is given for success in attracting investments and the way the city works with investors through the processes of attracting and realization of investments, but also the way the city cooperates with existing investors after the completion of construction, i.e., project implementation.
The City of Nis will be presented the award at the event held in Cannes at MIPIM, one of the largest investment and real estate fairs in the world. The very fact that the City of Nis was recognized and awarded this recognition represents a kind of promotion and confirmation of correct strategic decisions. On the occasion of this award, Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic said: “It is a great honor that the Financial Times recognized our efforts and achieved results. This award is proof that we are on the right path, an incentive and an obligation to continue working and make Nis the economic center of this part of Serbia and the Balkans. “