The cooperation between the municipalities of Tesanj, Teslic, and Zepce started with the signing of the agreement on inter-municipal cooperation back in 2012. That resulted in the formation of a development initiative BEAR Business Excellence Area, which was supported by the GIZ Prolocal program. Municipalities are co-operating through BEAR, i.e. the COBEAR project, which includes the engagement of businessmen, and all three of them received BFC certificates last year. They are recording a positive economic growth when it comes to the number of employees, total turnover, and exports.
“The program of supportive measures, the release from the payment of 70 % of taxes on each investment, as well as the support of self-employment in the field of agriculture and crafts, made a significant impact on the image of the employment. The number of employees was increased by 32.08 % in the past three years,” said Branka Janko, the Director of the Development Agency of Zepce.
Companies achieved cooperation with foreign companies, primarily from the Slovenian region, through the COBEAR project. They are enabled to obtain certificates for the production and sale of their final products, which is the reason for their competitiveness on the market. The unemployed people are enabled to gain practice in these companies through this project.
The value of exports in Zepce was increased by 43.64 % in comparison to the previous year. Export value in the field of metal processing was increased by 7.76 million BAM and in the textile industry by 8.19 million BAM. The value of the total turnover was increased by 92.81 million BAM, in the food sector by 68.84 million BAM, and in metal processing sector by 18.96 million BAM.
“In a total of 33 companies was created 655 new workplaces through this project, the turnover of companies was increased by 57.12 % and exports by 30.11 % in comparison to the beginning of the project. Moreover, 42 participants successfully completed training programs for CNC operators, and 146 participants from domestic companies attended specialized seminar training in the organization of the Agency for the Development of the Municipality of Tesanj (TRA),” as noted by Ismar Alagic, the director of this agency.
The number of companies in Tesanj in the last year was increased by 134. Moreover, the number of unemployed persons was decreased by 13.09 % in the period of 2 years. The number of employees was increased at an average rate of 7.7 % per year. The turnover of companies was increased by 4.71 % on average, while domestic companies’ investments in fixed assets were above 60 million BAM. Exports to more than 60 countries are stable and they amount to 350 million BAM on an annual basis.