In the Rousse Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we stand for the thesis that good interaction between business and local administrations is a basic prerequisite for economic growth and an opportunity for development not only of large companies, but also of small businesses and entrepreneurs. In this regard, we would like to share information about good practices in such interactions, in a study of the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Municipality of Ruse.
The project "Promoting partnership management in the field of local economic development and improving the investment environment", financed by the Operational Program "Good Governance" 2014-2022 and implemented by the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Municipality of Ruse, shares the good practices that demonstrate the opportunities for partnership and interaction of local government and business, as well as the participation of companies in the implementation and monitoring of local policies and legislation. Among the good global examples are:
- "Creating a safer, smarter and more connected city" in Sacramento, USA. The public-private partnership between the city of Sacramento and Verizon is worth $100 million, which has been invested by the private company. In exchange, it gets to use public infrastructure (poles and underground network) free of charge for 10 years to expand its fiber optic network and use a faster permitting system for city-owned infrastructure.
- The Lace Market Improvement and Renovation in Nottingham, UK is a public-private partnership with the active participation of three parties: the local municipal council, various municipal and state agencies; private partners in the form of investor companies; non-governmental civic organizations united in the Lace Market Heritage Trust. The results: a completely renewed city part with significant historical, cultural and economic importance; landscaped environment and built new, more communicative infrastructure; new jobs; created cultural centers and spaces for public use.
Partnerships between business and local authorities are characterized by entrepreneurial activity that focuses on the development of industrial parks, public infrastructure, transport, cultural and educational centers, etc. Within the framework of the partnership, the local municipality creates a policy for joint economic development using private and public capital, which provides discounts and incentives to businessmen, in order to encourage investment in the development of municipal infrastructure and facilities.
Recent years have seen a tangible development of companies in the field of mechatronics, supported by the available research and educational capacity. Essential ecosystem components are in place to drive capacity development in the creative industries.
Based on the researched potential of the municipality for strengthening partnership and cooperation in the field of investments and economic development, it is necessary to conclude that it has not been used to its full extent. The most tangible form of partnership is concessions, as partnership under other forms of public-private partnership are highly limited. There are opportunities to increase coordination and interaction with business in areas such as improving human resources, technical infrastructure, access to markets, business services, including and information etc. At the same time, there is a need for unification of the businesses that operate on the territory of the municipality and in the geographically separated industrial zones.
For more information and to access the complete material about the project, please visit the official page of the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry [here].