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

United States and Serbia Launch Project to  Create Jobs and Improve the Quality of Life in South and Southwest Serbia
USAID’s Private Sector Development Project should mean more jobs for south of Serbia. Ambassador Kirby recognized two of its partners in Leskovac: Miloš Ignjatović, NARD, and Biljana Stanković, RDA Leskovac
Harry Lipper, USAID/Serbia

For Immediate Release

Friday, December 6, 2013
Harry Lipper, Senior Development Outreach and Communication Specialist

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Agency for Regional Development (NARD) will officially launch the Private Sector Development Project in Leskovac on Friday, December 6, to strengthen companies in 12 economically depressed municipalities in south and southwest Serbia. 

U.S. Ambassador Michael D. Kirby and Serbia's Minister for Regional Development and Local Self Government Igor Mirović will speak at the inauguration of this first U.S.-Serbian government-to-government development project.  They will be joined by Leskovac Mayor Goran Cvetanović, NARD Director Miloš Ignjatović, and other dignitaries at 12 noon at the Leskovac Training Center, 6 Leskovackog odreda Street, Leskovac.

The $4.1-million Private Sector Development Project is expected to improve the quality of life in the regions by helping companies create jobs and increase investment by expanding markets for their products.  USAID and NARD will assist small- and medium-sized businesses' enter new markets, improve their management practices, and strengthen manufacturing and trade associations.  Training and grants will also be offered to new businesses owned by women and youth.

USAID's direct partnering with the Government of Serbia for this project is a sign of the strengthening bond between the American and Serbian governments. The Private Sector Development Project will be run by NARD through its network of Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).  The RDAs in Leskovac, Kraljevo, Užice, and Novi Pazar, in cooperation with the Vranje Small Business Agency, will help an estimated 120 growth-oriented companies and at least four business clusters and associations create jobs and increase sales and exports through technical assistance, training, and trade fair representation. 

The municipalities supported by this project are in Leskovac, Vranje, Preševo, Bujanova, Medveđa, Raška, Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Tutin, Priboj, Prijepolje, and Nova Varoš.