Following the intensified processes of integrated local economic development at the local and cantonal levels, the process of harmonization of strategic documents was followed. Thus, the work plans of REZ Agency since 2015 have to be harmonized with the strategy at the cantonal and federal level, as well as at the state level policy, by setting operational priorities, measures and program activities.
Management and coordination of the regional strategic planning process
REZ Agency manages and coordinates the process of regional strategic planning and revision of the regional development strategy, participates in its implementation and coordinates activities in support of harmonized regional development.
REZ Agency provides technical assistance to municipalities in the process of creating local development strategies and participates in activities of partner groups in the process of strategic planning of cantons and entities to horizontally and vertically integrate regional priorities in the development process.
Strengthening capacity of local stakeholders
These activities include provision of technical assistance to municipalities and other partners with the aim to strengthen their capacity to use funds from European programs and initiatives and other sources.
These activities include information dissemination, education of municipal development teams in PCM (Project Cycle Management), technical assistance in project proposal writing.
Strengthening competitiveness of the region
REZ activities are focused on following drivers of regional competitiveness: business environment, promotion of entrepreneurship, investment and export promotion, education and knowledge transfer, business development and growth.
In order to improve the business climate of the Central BiH REZ has developed competencies and instruments that support private sector development as carrier of local and regional economic development. The significant interventions are analysis, knowledge transfer and manual about establishment of business zones, web portal for investment promotion, start up programs, export promotion trainings and local export experts pool, business support trough business advising, education and linkages.
Moreover, REZ Agency has initiated establishment of innovative business infrastructure in the region like technology park, testing laboratory for wood products.
Human resources and employment
Disagreement between the needs of the labor market and formal education has a major impact on the competitiveness of the private sector and the unemployment rate.
In cooperation with all stakeholders, REZ Agency coordinates various programmes of qualification and pre-qualification for the unemployed, mostly young people, based on the needs of private companies and affecting the increase in employment.
REZ Agency has developed various training programmes, providing them with the goal of improving skills in the private sector in business planning, export promotion, production technology and networking.
The Central BiH Region has limited access to programs under IPA cross-border cooperation, and only the Cross-border Co-operation Programme “Croatia-BiH” is available for the area. However, in addition to the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme, there are different territorial, bilateral and multilateral programs with certain countries. REZ Agency plays an active role in the implementation of the cross-border cooperation which is aimed at building networks to develop good practice and facilitating the exchange and transfer of experiences with successful regions.
The capacities built so far are crucial for a new approach to EU assistance in the period 2014-2020, as well as the implementation of macro-regional strategies.
What does regional development really mean? In numbers, the implementation of the regional development is:
REZ Agency’s framework for the operation in the period 2004-2015 was the “Regional Strategy for Economic Development of the Central BiH Region” that expired year end of 2015. However, majority of the activities (i.e. projects) related to the aforementioned period where implemented for the stategic sectors with the biggest potential for development, as highlighted in the regional strategy document.
Development of entrepreneurship
Human Resources Development
Development of Infrastructure
Agriculture and Rural Development
Energy Sector Development