Municipality Centre Sarajevo as a local community can boast with its numerous cultural and historical monuments, natural beauties and many restaurants, and all of mentioned is in the area of a few kilometers. For many Municipality Centre represents urban administrative, cultural, sports, educational and health residence. The potential is certainly there, but also there is space for improvement. In an interview for Horizont 2024 Mayor Nedžad Ajnadžić among other things talked about all resources that has the Municipality Center, the way investors can be attracted, cooperation on the regional level, and about expectations of project TIS whose realization is getting closer.
What are potentials of Municipality Center and what is particularly interesting for investments?
Nedžad Ajnadžić: Municipality Center Sarajevo is administrative residence for Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Parliamentary assembly and Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Parliament and Government of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Government of Canton Sarajevo, Clinical Center, Rector’s Office of the University with the highest number of faculties, the most important institutions of culture and art, the most famous sports venues… Many would say that Municipality Centre is urban administrative, cultural, sports, educational and health residence. In addition, Municipality Center, which extends to 33 square kilometers, is actually equally economic and urban construction lot. This means that we have all the prerequisites for the development of all the above-listed areas, but mostly tourism and economy.
Are potentials of Municipality Centre sufficiently exploited?
Nedžad Ajnadžić: I think that potentials are not nearly enough exploited. When it comes to tourism, just few of local communities can be boast with its cultural and historical monuments, restaurants, as well as natural beauty, and all this is in the range of a few kilometers. In the Municipality Centre there are branded hotels, and plan is to build new ones. At the same time we have natural beauties like as Skakavac, mountain Bukovik, to infrastructure facilities that are an inevitable destination of every tourist who comes to Sarajevo. But there is space for improvement and that is why we have started implementing a number of projects that will make Municipality Center more attractive for domestic and foreign guests. We have very attractive untapped locations for which investors expressed strong interest, but we can’t go into the implementation of projects without high quality analysis. First of all it refers to the architectural and urban solutions, as well as models of investment. The economy, on the other hand, is a branch that can also experience the expansion because we have space capabilities for something like that. In recent few weeks, we have started a series of activities in order to enable domestic and foreign investors an environment in which they will want to invest.
How to achieve that Municipality Centre and the rest of B&H becomes a place where investors want to invest?
Nedžad Ajnadžić: First of all, we have to change the legislation, which is not favorable for us as one of the levels of authorities, neither for investors that will always chose easier system from complex system. The interest of the Municipality Center is to open big constructions in its area in order to be able to offer investors cooperation on several models. We want investors to have opportunity to enter into a partnership with us on the principle of concessions and public-private partnerships, and also we want to sell the land, even though it is an option that we will in the future try to use as little as possible. We are more interested in a partnership with investors where municipality will have a financial benefit in the future.
What Municipality Center can take in terms of attracting investors?
Nedžad Ajnadžić: In Municipality Center Sarajevo we have already taken steps to simplify certain procedures for obtaining several of permits. This project we implemented with World Bank. We make significant efforts to attract interested investors and therefore is formed an Economic Council of Municipality Center, which is made of the most eminent experts and businessmen. We have to cooperate with the profession in order to get quality results. In addition, the budget of the Municipality Center will allocate significant funds to support entrepreneurs. We provide the significant fund resources and offered them to youth to start their privet businesses.
What are the priorities of Municipality Centre in the future development?
Nedžad Ajnadžić: One of the priorities of Municipality Center in 2017 is to create conditions in order to begin using the funds of the European Union. This funds for our circumstances are not insignificant. For this reason, in progress is formation of the team that will in future go through the necessary training to prepare projects with which we will apply for IPA funds. European Union is very sensitive to the area of environmental protection and why not take advantage we have to get money for financing such projects, whose realization is possible.
From your point of view, how important is cooperation at the regional level for development of the local community?
Nedžad Ajnadžić: It is very important. As I have already said, a number of resources that has Centre Municipality are not exploited and that is something all of us should work on. The local community is gradually developing, and this of course can further accelerate through various projects at the regional level. We need to catch up steps with Europe and apply the experience of local communities that have pass this path before us. Why Municipality Center would not be one of the engines that will Bosnia and Herzegovina push harder towards Euro-Atlantic integration. I believe that it is our obligation and that is why we take cross-border cooperation very seriously and all experiences that we get from others we share with local communities in our country. We are not satisfied with the current situation, and we are not going to be satisfied even if only our local community has benefits from cross-border cooperation and EU funds. Our goal is that every inch of Bosnia and Herzegovina evenly develops.
What are your expectations from the project TIS?
Nedžad Ajnadžić: My opinion is that through regional cooperation, we can make a step forward, we can take advantage of all that we have, and that will largely attract foreign investors because this space them interesting. My expectations of project TIS are great because if you look at the ambitions, goals and partners, it is clear that all this is organized on a serious level, and the results will be positive.