An initial meeting of the cluster’s members was held last night at the Cultural Centre Kotor. The meeting is a part of the project “BACAR – Better Access to Growth: Clusters and Competitiveness – Networking in the Adriatic Region”, which is funded through the IPA cross-border cooperation program between Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, and co-funded by the European Union.

Mr. Vladimir Bujišić, the head of the Kotor Municipality’s Secretariat for Entrepreneurship Department, Utilities and Transportation, said in an interview for the Radio Kotor that the total budget for all the project partners is EUR 1,020,000.00. The EU co-funding is 85%, out of which the budget is allocated by countries in the following way: 30% for Montenegro, 34% for Croatia and 36% for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to Mr. Bujišić, part of the funding, to the amount of EUR 33,700.00, will be devoted to adapting the Cultural Centre Kotor for the needs of the Business Support Centre in the field of creative industry, i.e. to developing and furnishing of the business investment and information centre of Kotor.

“We plan to establish a cluster in tourism field, given that tourism forms the basis of our town’s economy. Kotor has always been a town of creative people, and we possess the potential that we are even unaware of. Many entrepreneurs in our town are still unrecognized and it will be our task to make their work visible. Through the cluster forming they will be able to exert a greater influence on public policies. It is our responsibility to provide them with better conditions for work. We have made the first step by inviting all the interested entrepreneurs and we are satisfied with their reaction”, said Mr. Bujišić.

According Mr. Igor Brkanović, an external expert for the creative industries cluster, the essence is these three words: integration, competitiveness and innovations. “It is the fact that individual, small enterprises lack the capacity to realize some of their wishes and needs on their own. By networking with other enterprises, they will start cooperating. By doing so, many things will become more available, cheaper and easier for them. In addition, when it comes to creating new products and getting into new markets, it will be much easier for them when they are united. I need to stress that the public and private sectors are not enemies. They need to extend a hand to each other. Kotor is small in numbers, because there are not so many entrepreneurs. However, we will have people dealing with old crafts, souvenirs production, high fashion, i.e. specific business activities, while, on the other hand, we will have those dealing with music, theatre, film. We will, therefore, in an integrative way, join two types of clusters. In this, on behalf of entrepreneurs, we will be helped, among others, by Ms. Lida Marđonović, a fashion designer and Mr. Petar Pejaković, a theatre director and pedagogue”, said Mr. Brkanović.

Mr. Brkanović stresses that the SME grouping or clustering can increase their strength when negotiating with state bodies and financial institutions, or when addressing their customers.

[Taken from the Radio Kotor website]

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