Remarks in Sremski Karlovci at the Launch of the Novi Sad Inter-Municipal Cluster, July 5, 2011
July 5, 2011
Mayor Pavlicic, Mayor Filipovic, Mayor Cvejic, Mayor Gustonj, assembled leaders from civil society and business communities, and other distinguished guests.
I am very excited to join all of you today to launch USAID's Sustainable Local Development Project in Vojvodina. Today's event marks the formal inauguration of the inter-municipal partnership formed among the local governments of Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci, Beocin and Temerin; and representatives of the local business and civil society communities. I am especially pleased that we were able to implement the project here in Vojvodina, where the United States has a long history of partnering with local communities on innovative and successful development initiatives.
Municipalities that pool their resources, share their expertise and build upon each other's successes are stronger, grow faster and are best positioned to successfully compete for investment, business and jobs.
This is a critical point. In today's global economy, Serbian municipalities can no longer afford to view themselves as adversaries in their efforts to attract international investment, but rather partners in a larger, highly integrated and more sophisticated marketplace. Here in Vojvodina, for example, Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci, Temerin and Beocin are not competing against each other to attract investment and jobs. They are competing against the rest of the world. And the only way to be successful in that highly competitive environment is to work together.
In order to make those efforts truly inclusive and sustainable, it is crucial to ensure the participation and equal partnership from the business community and civil society from the very beginning. As with any of our USAID initiatives, the most critical ingredient for success in this program will be the participation of proactive, visionary and determined local partners. I am very pleased to see that we have such partners in this inter-municipal cluster. I look forward to seeing how the projects identified through this new partnership develop in the months ahead and I hope the example you are setting here today will be followed by many other municipalities across Serbia.
In closing, I would like to wish all the partners to this new and important program much success and would like to emphasize the U.S. Government's commitment to that success in building a better future for all the citizens of Vojvodina.