About the Project

During the period between January 2014 and January 2015, the USAID Sustainable Local Development Project (SLD) supported the brownfield location promotion activity - South Serbia Brownfield Recycling.

Huge, long neglected growth potential exists in Serbian insolvent companies that are in the process of bankruptcy or financial restructuring. Almost 2,000 out of 3,017 state-owned enterprises that were privatized between 2001 and 2013 have ceased operations, sunk into bankruptcy or are on the verge of closing down. Promotion of the potential of these companies needs to be accelerated in order to attract much-needed investment and boost the competitiveness of Serbian industry. A key immediate challenge is to accelerate capital investment in the bankrupt companies, companies in the process of privatization or companies which have financial difficulties. Most of those companies still have an excellent business reputation and know-how (and the reason for their collapse has mostly been due to mismanagement by their new privatization owners and many of them possess attractive locations, existing infrastructure and access to transportation. Due to fear of the unknown, potential buyers, lessees and developers avoid these investment opportunities and opt for less “risky” financial and equity transactions. Merely the fear of unresolved proprietary challenges, regulatory hurdles or political constraints has been enough to hinder or stop their business recovery.

This Portal was created in cooperation with USAID SLD Project partner cities and municipalities, which have shown enough courage to initiate the process of marketing their insolvent companies, because they have recognized their potential for local economic development. Fifteen brownfield locations were selected for promotion within the USAID SLD Project, among 30 initial candidates. The promotion included preparation of brochures – teasers in the English and Serbian languages, and their presentation on this Portal. The brownfield locations presented include those from Niš, Kraljevo, Leskovac, Čačak, Gadžin Han and Vladičin Han. In this way, these local governments have contributed towards finding a solution for their local brownfields and removing barriers towards attraction of investment. Some of the locations presented are considered to be brownfileds in a broader sense, since they are in a relatively good condition, but are in search of a new owner, lessee or strategic partner, who could help them revitalize these companies and initiate the business recovery process.

Organization of the investment promotion has included:

  • • Data Collection and detailed analysis of available documents;
  • • Preparation of a professional Business Offering Package (prospectus) and on-line teasers;
  • • Piloting targeted marketing through “business mentorship” with their successfully privatized counterparts;
  • • Preparation of an on-line database/web based platform of the 15 selected brownfield businesses;
  • • Establishment of contacts with prospective investors, marketing of the selected brownfield locations and facilitation of negotiations with investors.

We are grateful to all brownfield promotion project participants for their efforts and significant contributions. Our thanks, particularly, go to the Local Economic Development Offices of the participating cities and municipalities.

This Portal supports importing data about additional locations, as well. Interested local government units can candidate their locations to the National Agency for Regional Development, on condition that they are able to provide complete and accurate data on candidate brownfields.

USAID’s Sustainable Local Development Project is a five-year project supporting local governments, businesses and civil society to increase their efficiency and achieve economies of scale through Inter-Municipal Cooperation (IMC) aimed at accelerating economic growth. The Project’s core activities are focused on supporting inter-municipal partners to add jobs and reduce unemployment in regional economies. The Project provides technical assistance, grants and subcontracts. www.lokalnirazvoj.rs