United States and Serbia Launch Project to Create Jobs and Improve Quality of Life in South and Southwest Serbia

From left to right: Ambassador Michael D. Kirby, Minister of Regional Development and Local Self-Government Verica Kalonović, NA
From left to right: Ambassador Michael D. Kirby, Minister of Regional Development and Local Self-Government Verica Kalonović, NARD Director Ivica Eždenci, and USAID Mission Director Susan K. Fritz.

For Immediate Release

Friday, June 21, 2013

 

Belgrade, June 2013 – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Agency for Regional Development (NARD) launched the Private Sector Development Project to strengthen private sector firms in 12 economically depressed South and Southwest Serbian municipalities.

The Private Sector Development Project aims to improve the quality of life in southern Serbia by helping companies create jobs and investment by expanding markets for their products.  Through the Project, USAID and NARD will support small- and medium-sized Sandžak and south Serbia businesses by assisting their entry into new markets, improving management practices, strengthening manufacturing and trade associations, and building links with the Government of Serbia.  Training and grants will also be offered to businesses owned by women and youth.

The agreement signing, which was witnessed by Ambassador Michael D. Kirby and Minister of Regional Development and Local Self-Government Verica Kalonović, represents the first U.S.-Serbian government-to-government aid project.  USAID is directly partnering with the Government of Serbia to implement this project, a sign of the strengthening relationship between the American and Serbian governments. USAID Mission Director Susan K. Fritz and NARD Director Ivica Eždenci signed the agreement.

The Private Sector Development Project will be run by NARD through its network of Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).  The RDAs in Novi Pazar, Užice, Kraljevo, and Leskovac, in cooperation with the Vranje Small Business Agency, will help growth-oriented companies and business clusters create jobs and increase their sales and exports.

It builds upon the success of the recently concluded USAID Economic Security Project, which helped 137 small- and medium-sized south and southwest Serbian firms overcome obstacles to success.

Last updated: July 16, 2014

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