Sarajevo, 1 June 2017 – Within the scope of the “Local Integrated Development” (LID) project, which is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), grants have been awarded to 19 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for supporting technological development and implementation of new investments. The beginning of the new cooperation with selected enterprises has been marked with the grant certificates award ceremony. The purpose of grant scheme is strengthening competitiveness and employment in BiH, and with grants valued at BAM 1.06 million awarded at this ceremony, the chosen SMEs plan to open 250 new jobs in the first phase. These SMEs plan to invest a total of BAM 11.3 million to expand its business in the forthcoming period.
“As of today, 19 small and medium enterprises across Bosnia and Herzegovina will benefit from the EU grants worth BAM 1.06 million in total. I am honored and pleased to be given an opportunity to award these grants that will improve the standards of living and create more jobs in BiH. Within this project, the EU works with domestic authorities and our colleagues from UNDP to put into place mechanisms and resources needed to drive social and economic development of BiH”, underlined Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission.
“Grants handed over today, will generate new jobs in areas affected by floods in 2014 and with high concentration of returnees or internally displaced persons. This builds on joint engagement of the EU and UNDP in flood recovery when our joint efforts helped preserve more than a hundred companies and thousands of jobs in BiH”, said Sezin Sinanoglu, UNDP Resident Representative in BiH.
During the implementation period, LID project has made an encouraging progress in the realization of infrastructural procedures in multiple units of local governments in Federation of BiH (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS), and strengthening development capacities of municipal and city administrations. Special attention is increased on creation of favorable business environment, strengthening competitiveness of domestic companies and employment. One of the activities which aims to stimulate economic growth in BiH and open new jobs is grant schemes which is offered through the mechanism of public call, to support small and medium enterprises with high development potential. The selection process was conducted in cooperation with FBiH Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts and RS Agency for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises. Based on transparent criteria, 19 enterprises were selected to receive support through LID project.
“A grant we received will be used for development of enterprises’ operations and for support in the creation of new jobs. With these funds, we will acquire new CNC machines and employ 6 young workers, which will result in an increased productivity as well as improved quality of our products and services”, said Branko Đuđić, Executive Director of “Tri Best” Ltd. from Banja Luka.
Within the ceremony, analysis of the value chains was presented and small fair was organized which displayed the products from metal, wood processing, and textile industry and agricultural sector.
“Local Integrated Development” (LID) project is part of the EU Programme for Local Development and Employment which is funded by the EU in the amount of EUR 19 million. Three projects that operate under the Programme will be implemented by UNDP, GIZ and ILO, until January 2019, with aim to assist economic recovery of floods affected areas, support the local economic development and local NGOs with social development recovery assistance and provide structural employment enhancement measures through integrated local development.