Since 2015 the City of Banja Luka has an international certificate on a favorable business environment (BFC SEE). Certification program of a favorable business environment is a unique regional program for improving the competitiveness of local self-governments, which is implemented in the Republic of Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This program is intended for cities and municipalities that have adequate capacities, are strategically committed to improving the economic environment, attracting investments and encouraging the development of the local economy. Certification of cities and municipalities implies meeting, very demanding, 12 criteria and more than 80 subcriteria for improving the quality of services and information provided by local governments to businessmen and foreign investors. Fulfilling these requirements is another challenge that local self-government units meet in terms of improving work and increasing competitiveness. The city of Banja Luka achieved a total score of 92.5 percent out of 100, fulfilling 12 very demanding criteria and more than 80 subcriteria for improving the quality of services and information provided by local government units to businessmen and foreign investors.
Criteria for a favorable business environment in BFC SEE
The quality of the local business environment is evaluated based on 80 subcriteria of certification, which are grouped into 12 criteria:
- Strategic approach to local economic development
- Organizational capacity to support the economy (LED Office)
- The involvement of the economy in the work of local government (business council)
- An efficient system for issuing building permits
- Availability of information and databases relevant to business
- Application of marketing in order to promote investments
- Credit and financial stability
- Promotion of employment and human resources development
- Encouraging private-public partnerships
- Adequate infrastructure and reliable utility services
- Transparent and stimulating policy of local taxes, taxes and incentives
- Application of information technology.
Advantages of BFC SEE The BFC SEE quality brand in the short term has become a widely recognized indicator of efficient local administration and a favorable investment climate in Southeast Europe. The program provides a stable and well-known business environment that provides guarantees to investors that all certified cities / municipalities will provide the same level of services to the economy.
This program was launched by NALED (National Alliance for Local Economic Development) from the Republic of Serbia in cooperation with USAID (US Agency for International Development) in 2007.