SPEECH BY NIS CITY MAYOR AT THE NEW YEAR’S RECEPTION
At the traditional New Year’s reception Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic summarized the achievements of the past year and announced plans for the next:
“We are at the very end of the passing year and on the doorstep of the coming year. This is a moment when we have to look back at the year 2018, to look at what we did and what kind of foundations we set for 2019. This festive evening we can rightfully say that a difficult year, a year full of challenges, difficulties and uncertainties, but also years of success, work, peace and prosperity is behind us.
There is no doubt that 2018 was a decisive year in the development of the modern Nis. During last year 3 new large factories were opened in Nis, where the value of investments was over 80 million euros and that would employ at least 4,500 workers. On the well-established foundations in 2018, we continue to build in 2019. Next year we expect the construction of a new Johnson Electric Factory, the expansion of the Leoni factory, as well as the beginning of the operations of the Zumtobel subcontractors, which will employ over 500 workers. We are negotiating with over 10 new potential investors and we are sure that in 2019, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Nis will be an ideal destination for new investors. Special attention is paid to medium, small and micro enterprises in the strategies and the policies of the City of Nis. City of Nis, with the support of the Serbian Government, allocated RSD 110 million to support domestic micro, small and medium enterprises and has supported over 300 domestic companies through numerous stimulus measures.
We all have to agree about one thing – science, economy and advanced technologies – they are the three most powerful pillars on which we are building modern Nis. As the crown of all efforts, the foundation stone for the decade-old dream of the City of Nis was laid – Scientific Technology Park, the largest and most powerful ever investment in young people, in science and education.
At the end of this 2018 we can proudly say that we have built the most modern and largest Clinical Center in the entire Balkans, that we have built and that we are building key road directions, and the roads are important, because every new road is a new road to the future! Today, the largest national projects are being implemented in Nis, such as the project of construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant with a network of collectors worth EUR 55 million.
Nis today is an ideal place for realization of large investment projects. All preparations were made for the big investment project by Delta Company in the construction of a commercial business center worth about 70 million euros. After a few years of delay, Novi Nis Project is progressing real well. The realization of commercial investments, such as the Delta Planet Shopping Center and Novi Nis Residential and Commercial Complex, prove that the economic situation in Nis is improving. These data, as exact and statistical indicators, show that the City of Nis is indeed a city of the future.
The most powerful proof is the solving of the biggest problem of today, that is, the decrease of the number of unemployed and creation of new jobs. At the moment, there is lowest possible unemployment rate in recent years. The number of unemployed, just two years ago, was about 33,000, and this number was reduced by almost 10,000 in just two years.
Our results are recognized at the national and international level: at the national level, the City of Nis was declared the Champion of Local Economic Development in the category of attracting investments for 2018/2019. Also, the Financial Times ranked the City of Nis at the 7th place as the City of the Future for 2018/2019. Nis, as a region, came in the third place in the category of small European regions with regard to attracting foreign direct investment
Dear associates and friends of the City of Nis,
New Year is a symbol of a new beginning of life, a new hope for the future. I am deeply convinced that, with joint forces, with a unique will, and above all with diligent and hard work we can achieve a common dream and build a modern, powerful, European Nis, a “smart city”, a place that attracts tourists from all over the world and has a great reputation in the international public. Dear associates, as we are together in these pre-holiday and festive days, we are together in our everyday tasks. And precisely, our work together, friendship and sincere love of our city and our only, beloved Serbia, multiply our forces for the battle for great achievements.
Let New Year’s holidays bring the best in us, let us encourage solidarity in our neighbors, the joy of giving by which we enrich and make our own life happy; these days, but also throughout the year, we should be saying kind words to each other, we should forgive each other, we should declare and multiply love, we should enrich each other’s soul with care, respect and care. I sincerely wish that in 2019 every person’s life changes for the better.
I sincerely wish, to all my fellow citizens, personal and family happiness, tranquility, well-being, happiness and every personal and professional success. May 2019 bring peace and prosperity to our Serbia and our beloved Nis. May 2019 be happy, healthy and prosperous for all citizens of Nis and all citizens of Serbia. Long live!