NIS – EUROPEAN CITY OF THE FUTURE 2018/2019

February 14th

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. “




NEW HEAD OF EU DELEGATION TO SERBIA SEM FABRIZI VISITED NIS

During his first official visit to Nis, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi was acquainted with projects implemented successfully by the EU in Nis. Among the topics of the visit was the European Year of Cultural Heritage and cultural and historic importance of the city.

Representatives of the local Development and Project Office made a presentation of successful projects. “Thanks to EU grants, we have constructed a modern clinical centre and will reconstruct the Nis-Dimitrovgrad railway line. Another project worth mentioning is the construction of wastewater treatment facility as well as the EUR1.237,000-worth of grants invested in building apartments for the most vulnerable members of the Roma community,” said Darko Bulatovic the Mayor of Nis. “Knowing that towns and municipalities will be responsible for drafting as many as 75 per cent of legislation, we assign a major role to local self-governments on our journey toward the great goal of EU membership,” Ambassador Fabrizi said.

Following the meeting at the Mayor’s Office, Ambassador Fabrizi and his hosts took a tour through downtown Nis and learned more about the rich history of that city. He also paid a visit to the archaeological exhibition of the National Museum in Nis, followed by a visit to the EU Info Point and Aleksandar Markovic’s exhibition Dehumanization dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. Together with city officials and the Dean of the Faculty of Electronic Engineering Dragan Jankovic, Fabrizi toured the Start Up Centre of the Faculty – the first segment of the science and technological park for which the European Investment Bank has allocated EUR15,2 million. Students brought Ambassador closer to technological innovation they had come up with, such as the smart phone mobile app “52 weekends in Serbia”. Head of the EU Delegation also had a chance to pay a virtual visit to several monasteries in the vicinity of Nis thanks to a 3D presentation. “Today, at this Faculty, I did not see the future, I saw the present – numerous young researchers developing their ideas. At our disposal we have many instruments to support science and innovation, such as Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020,” Fabrizi said. The Dean of the Faculty said that “by investing in the science and technological park, youths in Nis and the region will reach the level of their counterparts in universities in the EU, and even exceed them.”

Ambassador ended his visit by taking part in a debate titled “Ask me anything about the EU,” organized by the European Movement in Serbia within the project Europe for Me. Ambassador Fabrizi talked to the citizens for more than an hour, answering their questions concerning decentralization, human rights, opportunities for farmers, the negotiating process, and bringing them closer to the Western Balkans Enlargement Strategy.

 




INTERNAL DIALOGUE ABOUT KOSOVO

February 13th

Тhe round table gathering the representatives of the cities and municipalities on the topic of  Internal Dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija was held in Nis. Dusanka Golubovic, the president of SCTM and the Mayor of Sombor, on this occasion pointed out the gathering was organized with the desire to start a dialogue on how to share the knowledge and experience of cities and municipalities with the municipalities from Kosovo and Metohija. The round table was also attended by Minister of State Administration and Local Government Branko Ruzićc and the Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric. On behalf of the City of Niš Mayor Darko Bulatovic welcomed the audience. “Times require local self-governments to take part of the burden and responsibility for state and national politics and protection of interests,” said Marko Djuric on this occasion.




ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESCAPE FROM NIS CONCETRATION CAMP IN WW II MARKED

February 12th

76th anniversary of the escape from the German concentration camp was marked today in the presence of the only surviving inmate of that time Mr. Vladimir Jovanovic (93). On February 12th, 1942, 147 prisoners attempted to escape from the camp through barbed wire and 105 of them succeeded. Following the laying of flower wreaths and service at the memorial complex, Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic said that this memorial complex – once German concentration camp was a warning what happened when the war won against the man instead of man winning against the war. The memorial service was attended by the representatives of the Serbian Armed Forces, Police Forces, veteran organisations, Serbian-Russian Humanitarian Center. The scouts from Nis joined traditionally marking of the anniversary by organizing the march along the paths along which the camp prisoners ran.  A former Concentration camp in Nis, presents a witness of one of the darkest periods of the recent world history-the Second World War. It was established in 1941 in the building of a deserted military warehouse near the train station ’’Crveni krst’’. It is estimated that during the occupation, there were more than 30.000 people in the concentration camp.




FOUR PRIORITIES OF THE MINISTRY OF CIVIL ENGINEERING, TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE FOR NIŠ

February 8th

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, prof. Dr. Zorana Mihajlovic, said in Nis that this city was already the traffic hub of this part of Serbia and she pointed out to four priorities in the field of infrastructure – modernization of Nis-Dimitrovgrad railroad, construction of Nis-Merdare-Pristina highway, construction of cheap apartments and further development of the Airport Constantine the Great.

Mihajlovic announced the biggest project in railroad transport in the south of Serbia – modernization and reconstruction of the Nis-Dimitrovgrad railroad, with the construction of a roundabout around Nis, worth 268 million euros. “About this project, this involves removing a line that has been passing through the city center for years, has been spoken for at least ten years. Now there is no more delay. A contract has been signed and work on expropriation has already begun”, Mihajlovic told at the press conference held at Nis City Hall.

“The priority in the field of road infrastructure is  Niš-Merdare-Pristina highway, i.e. the construction of the first 40-kilometer-long section Niš-Plocnik, for which we expect to launch the public call for the selection of the contractor by the end of this year”, added Mihajlovic.

When it comes to building cheap apartments for members of the military and police forces, Mihajlovic said that another site was being considered, in addition to the one proposed by the City of Nis earlier, and that she expected the construction of the first apartments  to begin in May. “Both locations will be taken into consideration, and what is important is that all problems in these locations will be solved,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. She added that a special law was prepared that would allow the construction of cheap apartments, and that construction of apartments in several cities in Serbia would begin in late April and early May.

Responding to questions from journalists regarding the further development of the Nis airport, Mihajlovic said that the Serbian government had, so far, through the Belgrade Airport Nikola Tesla, the Civil Aviation Directorate, SMATSA, assisted with 6.5 million euros and that another 7.5 million euros had been planned for further assistance. “Our interest is that the Nis airport is further developed, a new control tower will be built and there are no restrictions regarding the airlines with which the airport could cooperate. It is important that the City of Nis, as the owner of the airport, and the regional development agency, , take into account all factors of market development in further development strategy, as we have pointed out to them earlier, “Mihajlovic said.

Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic thanked the Deputy Prime Minister for the support she had provided together with her entire team, to Nis in the realization of projects that would contribute to the faster development of the city and the better life of the citizens. He said that at the meeting of the vice-president with the city leadership in Nis, there were discussions about the development of Nis airport, road infrastructure projects, progress of illegal construction legalization processes, and the project of modernization of Nis-Dimitrovgrad railroad.

During her visit to Nis, the Deputy Prime Minister also spoke with Ms.Dragana Sotirovski, Head of the Nisava District and the leaders of local self-governments from the district.

Prior to the press conference, Mihajlovic presented the certificate confirming that the Nis airport met the highest European standards of security. Also, the Deputy Prime Minister handed out 11 decisions on legalization to individuals and companies who were waiting for a few years to legalize their property. In addition to the meetings with the representatives of the districts and local self-governments, the Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic also met with the citizens and this was unique opportunity for present their problems and give suggestions.




TOURISM IN NIS IN 2017

February 8th

Nis continues to record exceptional results in the field of tourism in 2017, and the revenue of the city for the observed period is 24,664,000.00 RSD coming from local tourist fee.
More than 100,000 tourists visited Nis during the stated period and that represents the increase of 26% in the total number of tourists, while the number of domestic tourists increased by 16%, compared to the same period in 2016. In total, 17% more tourist stayed overnight in Nis than in the same period of 2016; the number of overnight stays of domestic tourists increased by 6%, and the number of overnight stays by foreign tourists increased by 32%, which makes total of 190,000 overnight stays in 2017. The greatest number of tourists came from: Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Turkey, Romania, China, Poland, Slovenia, Italy, Russian Federation, Slovakia and Sweden. Shown hospitality is the biggest tourism advantage in our city!




HALF A BILLION DINARS INVESTED INTO ROADS IN NIS

February 7th

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, prof. Dr. Zorana Mihajlovic stated today in Nis that, the Government, through PE Serbia Roads invested nearly 500 million dinars in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the roads in Nis in four years, and in the entire Nisava district, nearly two billion dinars, counting the works planned in 2018. During the visit to Nis today, accompanied by Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatović, Mihajlović visited the reconstruction of Boulevard Car Konstantin and said that this roadway passing by the new Zumtobel factory will be completed by August. “Although the deadline for the completion of works has been slightly shifted, this is not because the contractor did not do something, but it was necessary to change the project for regulating the discharge of atmospheric precipitation. It is important that everything what is done is of good quality”, Mihajlovic said, adding that the value of the works was about 45 million dinars. She said that it was important that the reconstruction of the 1.7 km Boulevard Car Konstantin would include sidewalks and bicycle routes and that this was the model for all cities in Serbia.