EU Helped Serbia Improve Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises
The European Union successfully finished project Support to Enterprise Competitiveness and Export Promotion (SECEP) in Serbia. Main objectives of this project of a total budget €3.5 million, was to improve the competitiveness and export promotion of small and medium enterprises and to strengthen local exporters’ capacities.
These activities were provided to more than 1.100 Serbian companies varying from a series of individual in company assessments, business improvement projects, international consultant support and workshops tailored to the specific needs of Serbian SMEs engaged in SECEP's supplier development programme.
During 2,5 years of the project’s implementation SECEP organised four international events (two in Kragujevac and two in Belgrade) known as “Meet the Buyer” where more than 60 multi-national companies were in direct contact with Serbian SMEs as potential suppliers. Through the intensive cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, SECEP also provided practical support to more than 50 Serbian companies to enter global supply chains.
SECEP project successfully performed programme of internationalisation for the six prioritised Serbian clusters. The project helped Serbia to appear on the European cluster map and assisted in development Serbian clusters' ability to not only export, but also to network outside of Serbia with clusters in other countries together with linkages to CEFTA countries.
Through its third component, internationalisation, SECEP helped Serbia in developing exporting capacities and practically assisted in establishment of the Serbian Exporters Association to represent exporters and to help them help themselves in making inroads into new markets.
The main outcome of SECEP project is increased competitiveness of a number of Serbian SMEs and tailored capacity building in Government Departments and Serbian business support organisations to help the economic operators working in the more effective environment.
The EU funded project SECEP was supported by the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, SIEPA, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Serbian Agency for Regional Development. These agencies supported the project in many ways ranging from providing research material to undertaking in company assessments. Members of the staff of all the agencies were trained for this work by the SECEP team assisted by a number of International experts.
SECEP’s overall objective was to support the development of a market economy and socio-economic cohesion in Serbia by improving the international competitiveness and export performance of SMEs.
The EU has invested €50 million for Serbian SMEs (including €20 million in direct credit lines) until 2006 with additional €6.5 million from IPA 2007 and 2008.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Support to Enterprise Competitiveness and Export Promotion (SECEP) is an EU funded project. The overall objective is to support the development of a market economy and socio-economic cohesion in Serbia by improving the international competitiveness and export performance of SMEs.
The Project being implemented in close cooperation with its key institutional beneficiaries led by the Ministry of Economy & Regional Development, and includes: National Agency for Regional Development; Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency, Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Deputy Prime Minister's Office for European Integration.
SECEP is carrying out goal directed activities under three interlinked components, namely:
Cluster development, which supports groups of companies and partnering institutions to undertake joint activities leading to improvement of overall business performance and growth in competitiveness.
Supply chain development, which is designed to improve the management processes and business performance of individual SMEs from a number of key sectors to enhance their prospects of integration into international supply chains.
Internationalization, which is focused on enabling SMEs to connect internationally with foreign business partners by fostering the development of cluster and exporter networks.
EU Support to Make Serbian Companies More Competitive
Belgrade, November 15, 2011
The European Union has, through its project Support to Enterprise Competitiveness and Export Promotion (SECEP), organised the final Meet the Buyer event in Belgrade as practical support to Serbian companies to enter global supply chains. More than 20 foreign companies, including multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Ball Packaging, Schneider Electric, Dehlaize, interested in making contacts with Serbian suppliers will be represented at this event.
With this final event, SECEP, an EU funded project of a total budget of €3.5 million, is nearing its end. The project is supported by the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, SIEPA, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and National Agency for Regional Development. SECEP’s overall objective is to improve the international competitiveness and export performance of SMEs in Serbia by supporting the development of a market economy and socio-economic cohesion in the country.
A key component of the project was to develop a supplier development programme. Meet the buyer events especially are a unique opportunity to support the development of Serbian suppliers. Starting with the first in May 2010, the SECEP project has organised 4 "Meet the Buyer" events, with two in Belgrade and Kragujevac respectively. The first three events provided opportunities for over 300 local companies to meet international buyers in person, to see their purchasing requirements and to begin the process leading to business negotiations. Through these events, Serbian SMEs have a better understanding of meeting supply requirements of multinational corporations by meeting face to face with prospective buyers.
In addition, the project has conducted a series of individual in company assessments and business improvement projects. It has provided consultant support and organised workshops tailored to the specific needs of more than 80 Serbian SMEs engaged in SECEP's supplier development programme. 50 of these have received intensive support to enhance management and production skills to improve their position in the supply chains.
The other key component of the project was to build and develop business clusters to help companies become more competitive and promote exports. The SECEP project targeted as six prioritised clusters in the following sectors: Information Technology, Furniture, Mechatronics, Fashion & Apparel, Automotive, and Knowledge Intensive Services for Agriculture. Clusters have established n linkage with CEFTA and EU business networks, which will improved their ability to network outside of Serbia.
The EU remains committed in supporting Serbian businesses and especially SMEs in boosting their competitiveness on national and international markets, as part of the overall goal to help Serbia develop a strong market economy. So far, the EU has invested close to €60 million for projects related to Serbian SMEs (including €20 million in direct credit lines). At the moment, tree EU funded projects (with total value of €14.4 million) with focus on new financial instruments and institutional support to innovation and competitiveness of the SMEs are ongoing.
MEET THE BUYER - November 15, 2011
How to export to... Switzerland and EU with SIPPO support and the UK market
SECEP organizes this event in ZIRA hotel, for more information please follow the link
Workshop - Technology Transfer and Technology Brokerage
EU funded ICIP and SECEP gathered over 40 participants from organizations that support innovation for a workshop to explore technology transfer and technology brokerage activities. Participants attended from across Serbia and included representative of Cluster R&D partners, Innovation Centers, Business Technology Incubators and Regional Support Agencies & Centers.
The two day event was held at the Serbian Intellectual Property Office and included a session on IPR in Universities from the IPO representative of the EU project to set up a Technology Transfer Office at the University of Belgrade. Topics under discussion included the development of expert databases, knowledge transfer partnership and innovation networks to support innovation in enterprises and processes and structures to assist commercialization of academic research from the knowledge base.
Second workshop devoted to exporters and companies that participate in the SECEP’s project will take place on Tuesday, May 17 in Belgrade. There will be presented results of the research conducted in the field of exporters’ markets and presentations about conditions for appearing on international markets, how to select the best market option, how to identify the best buyer and will be conducted an exercise with on-line tool with the assistance of Mr. Aleksandar Jovanovic, certified expert for market research.
In the second part there will be a presentation by SECEP’s consultant Ms. Ana Trbovic of the results of the survey that SECEP conducted in the past couple of months with the aim to determine exporters’ needs. This will be followed by a cocktail and networking event where discussion about the results and next steps that SECEP will undertake to address the needs of the exporters identified in the survey will take place in more relaxed atmosphere.
The workshop will start at 10 a.m. in the oremises of the Belgrade hotel “Crystal” (St. Internacionalnih brigada, 6). For all information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SECEP’s Support to Furniture Cluster (May 13, 2011 – Nis)
The SECEP Project organizes a workshop „Building Strategic Clusters in the Republic of Serbia“for companies and business support organisations from the Southern Serbia that participate in the furniture cluster. The workshop will take place in Nis, at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture on May 13, 2011.
It is expected that 15 companies, 5 business support organisations and 20 students will take place at this unique inter-cluster workshop. This is going to be the first time that the Southern and Central furniture company groupings- that will constitute the Serbian furniture cluster – are brought together in one place.
There will be delivered a presentation on design by a renowned Italian furniture designer that should lead to SECEP's creation of a cluster furniture collection that would be promoted abroad at the end of 2011.
For more info please contact SECEP Team.
Presentation of FACTIS Cluster
Belgrade, April 15, 2011 – Serbian fashion industry cluster Fashion Ashion Apparel Cluster Serbia – FACTS made the public presentation of its activities and members at the press conference in Belgrade’s Media Center. FACTIS Cluster Manager Sladjana Milojevic introduced some major results achieved by this innovative industrial cluster.
Participants at this presentation were: Zorica Maric Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Goran Dzafic, Assistant Director of SIEPA and Andrzej Schafernaker Team Leader of the EU funded project “Support to Enterprise Competitiveness and Export Promotion”.
Schafernaker stressed the importance of cluster initiatives as major tool to obtain competitiveness of small and medium enterprises and participation of companies, Government and business associations in development and research projects.
SECEP’s Support to EMC Project Preparation
SECEP Team supported preparation of the EMC project which is funded by the European Union through the Regional Socio-Economic Developement Programme (RSEDP) II. Grant contract was signed with the Institute Mihailo Pupin, as the lead parnter of the project. Total value of the project is EUR 1 million. The project’s implementation started on February 17th, 2011 and will last 20.
Beside the Institute „Mihajlo Pupin“, the following institutions are partners on the project: ICT Network Industry Cluster, School of Electrical Engineering on the University of Belgrade and Regional Centre for development of SMEs and enterpreneurship Belgrade.
The project is also supported by: Directorate of Measures and Precious Metals, Accreditation Board of Serbia and TÜV SÜD Sava. These organisations are associated partners of the project and their main role is to give institutional support during realisation of the project.
The main objective of the project is to improve competitiveness of the Serbian ICT industry through the establishment of the facility for EMC product testing. Along with the main objective of the project, specific goals of the project are:
Increasing employment level in the ICT industry, especially of young highly educated professionals
Improving competitiveness of other industry sectors through implementation of local high quality electronic solutions
Creating the opportunity for product testing in industry ICT Network Industry cluster according to the electromagnetic compatibility standard.
Expected results of the project are increase of competitiveness of Serbian industry through the improvement of quality of ICT industry in Serbia, ICT Network Industry Cluster and local institutions in Serbia.
Support to Enterprise Competitiveness and Export Promotion
Project funded by the European Union
Implemented by a consortium led by International Development Ireland Ltd.
This web-site has been produced with the assistance from the European Union. The contents of this web-site are the sole responsibility of the SECEP Project
and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.