Sarajevo Economic Region Development Agency


1. SERDA Mandate

The Sarajevo Economic Region Development Agency (SERDA) is a non-profit limited liability company governed by public law and owned by the Canton of Sarajevo, the City of Sarajevo, the City of East Sarajevo and 32 municipalities from the Sarajevo Macro Region (SMR).

SERDA was established in May 2003 by the Canton of Sarajevo, the City of East Sarajevo, and 20 municipalities from both entities. Subsequently, the City of Sarajevo and other 12 municipalities joined SERDA, so that there are currently 35 founders.

The role of SERDA is to encourage and strengthen the regional development through provision of financial support, education, tools for business infrastructure development and capacity building in various sectors, information services for foreign investors and the implementation of inter-regional and international projects.

Through the professional implementation of projects and the dynamic and innovative approach, SERDA has proven itself as the leading development agency of the regional economic development in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). SERDA strives to identify the needs of its founders and other relevant stakeholders in order to maximise effects for a balanced, integrated and harmonized development of the region.

SERDA has a highly qualified staff experienced in various projects implementation (on yearly basis between 60 and 70 small and large projects). Its headquarters are located in center of Sarajevo on 400 square meters and are fully equipped for the purpose.

SERDA is an active associate member of the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) and South Eastern Europe Network of Regional Development Agencies (SEENORDA).


2. Vision, Mission

The vision of SERDA for the Sarajevo Macro Region is to provide better quality and a more prosperous life for all of its citizens and to set an example for other developing regions regarding all aspects of business, education, cultural and sports life. These goals will be achieved through an integrated and appropriate approach to sustainable economic development. The Sarajevo Macro Region will be the leader in the process of integration of BiH into the European Union.

The mission of SERDA is to create a positive environment for a sustainable economic development in the region, and to advance, strengthen and promote the development of the Sarajevo Macro Region with all available resources, supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina approaching to EU integrations.

3. SERDA strategic objectives and sectors of interventions

All priorities, areas of intervention and individual activities are targeted to create a positive environment for sustainable economic development in the SMR, and to improve, strengthen and promote the development in the region using all internal capacities and through mobilization of available regional partner’s and stakeholder’s resources.

The harmonized dynamic economic development of SMR aimed to the strengthening of mechanisms of BIH accession to EU is the overall objective that SERDA strives to.

SERDA implements projects, and performs activities, which are directed towards the achievement of the following strategic objectives:

1.     Development of economic activity in region;

2.     Creation of impetus – providing business framework in region;

3.     Human resources development;

4.     Strengthening the competitiveness of region.

The main sectors/types of interventions include:

·          Supporting local communities and non-government organizations in strengthening absorption capacities;

·          Supporting entrepreneurs through technical assistance in provision of favourable financing;

·          Linking unemployed with entrepreneurs through labour market development;

·          Supporting entrepreneurs through development of business infrastructure and innovative entrepreneurship;

·          Providing relevant information to potential investors;

·          Supporting creation and promotion of tourism products;

·          Addressing environmental issues;

·          Promoting resource efficiency and renewable energy;

·          Providing technical assistance in implementation of infrastructure project;

·          Supporting agriculture development;

·          Providing access to information and promotion of European Integration process;

·          Preparing studies and development strategies.

6. Principles of implementation

SERDA’s policy is a quality implementation of the projects with regional character, continuous strengthening of partnerships with the European Union, international organizations, the state actors and/or local communities, aimed at creation of a favourable business climate for a harmonized development of the SMR and BiH.

All our activities are harmonized with the standard of Quality Management System ISO 9001:2008 and other international standards. We also adhere to the following principles:

·       Transparency and visibility. Compliance with this principle is of most importance. Dissemination of on time and detail information, promotion of success stories and best practices will strongly support all efforts in economic and social development.

·       Partnership. This principle is directly connected to ownership and sustainability and is meant to facilitate the changes of economic conditions. Participation of all important development stakeholders ensures a more effective implementation, a better targeting of resources and the development of capacities of all partners involved. It is achieved by common interest for close collaboration in the design, implementation and monitoring of regional programmes.

·       Integration of common local needs at regional level, in geographic terms and by the content. Integration is achieved through active participation of all regional actors.

·       Common good. Projects, which are to be candidates, have to be designed for the purpose of common goods, and not exclusively to meet the needs of the founders/members.

·       Sustainability. This principle is crucial in sense of long-term development activities. Its implementation is particularly important in BiH with regions, which are characterized by a low level of development. Therefore, all development activities must be focused on building sustainable economy within a local communityor region, that will constitute sustainable national economy within the EU community for which BiH is potential candidate.

Constant institutional strengthening of SERDA, and self-capacity building measures resulted with the position of the leading development agency in BiH. SERDA has become an unavoidable factor in the economic development of the SMR and a significant development stakeholder in BiH.

7. Overview of SERDA current activities

SERDA’s main activities are currently aimed at creating and supporting an environment that is primarily conducive to the economic development of the Sarajevo Macro-Region, and secondly the overall development of the country as a whole. The current activities are grouped within four core areas, namely:

1. Implementation of projects financed by EU funds;

2. Implementation of projects funded through bilateral cooperation and support of international organizations;

3. Implementation of projects through a partnership between SERDA and its founders;

4. Implementation of projects in partnership with domestic institutions, non-governmental organizations and businesses.

8. Future perspectives

SERDAs business orientation will continue to focus on gaining practical experience on the basis of partnership participation in applications for various EU funds, and participation in project activities in the programs of cross border cooperation between BiH and Serbia/Montenegro, IPA Adriatic, and within the transnational programmes South East Europe and MED. 

Aware of the fact that only inter-institutional cooperation in domestic and international factors can lead to a new quality in the development and improvement of economic opportunity of the SMR, in 2014, SERDA continues its cooperation with the regional and development agencies and other relevant institutions from the EU.

  • Company
Geographical focus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Giorgio Piccirillo on April 11, 2017
Modified on April 11, 2017