Regional and cross-border cooperation can attract foreign investment

Brod-Posavina is a Croatian county with strong development potential, writes new CoR member Danijel Marušic.

By Danijel Marušic

07 Oct 2013

Brod-Posavina county, as a part of the Croatian delegation in the Committee of the Regions, fully supports the objectives of a united Europe, and strives for a democratic, transparent and efficient EU that is close to its citizens. Being a member of such a team significantly helps us with opportunities to develop partnerships with other regions, and empowers us in an equal partnership with economically and socially more developed parts of Europe.

The development potential of Brod-Posavina county is significant. I would like to emphasise several strengths which highlight the development potential of the county, such as skilled and competitive workers, developed entrepreneurship and economic infrastructure, as well as its outstanding position at the crossroads of major trade routes. Brod-Posavina county has excellent traffic links to other parts of Croatia, as well as to neighbouring European countries and the rest of Europe. It also has important natural resources, including fertile agricultural land, an abundance of water, significant forestry resources and developed business zones. Such resources underpin the potential for development of our agriculture and processing industries based on natural resources.

A strong industrial tradition and assets in the county don’t just enhance the possibilities of exploiting these natural resources, but are also conducive to the development of other industrial sectors. The key manufacturing sectors are metal and wood processing, furniture manufacture, the chemical industry sector and food processing.

We strongly support regional and cross-border cooperation and are working to attract funds from foreign investors across several projects in our county. Currently we have 102 approved programmes in implementation. Their total value is about €60m, of which the EU accounts for about 75 per cent. At this moment we are running a project in Brod-Posavina county focusing on biotechnology research and development. This project is valued at around €1.5m, and about 68 per cent of it is financed from funds through pre-accession assistance regional development funding. This project will construct and equip laboratories and greenhouses used for the production of virus free planting material, while farmers will also get the comprehensive assistance they need to develop and enhance their businesses in the area of management skills and innovative principles of dynamic production.

At this moment Brod-Posavina county has 11 major developmental projects; the Pannonian green industrial park in Nova Gradiška; the centre of excellence for renewable energy in Slavonski Brod; the university of applied sciences in Slavonski Brod; the Pannonian development and logistics centre for eco fruits and vegetables; a theme park inspired by fairytales written by Ivan Mažuranic, a Croatian poet, linguist and politician, in Brod fortress; a camp in the sports recreational centre Poloj; a hotel and a congress hall in the Brod fortress.

The development of port infrastructure and the construction of a terminal for dangerous cargoes in the port area of Slavonski Brod, as well as an agricultural rice field incubator in Brodski Stupnik, and the upgrading of the regional technological centre have all been nominated for different EU funds.

We are also very aware of the necessity for sustainable development and environmental protection. Problems with waste are similar in most countries, but the degree of effective care depends largely on the economic power of a country and the socioeconomic level of development. At this moment we are trying to find an investor for a regional waste management centre that would solve the problem of waste management in this area and would bring us up to the high and uniform environmental standards that prevail across Europe.