Benefits and Results


The ultimate goal of the BFC SEE Program is to improve and harmonize business conditions in the region, strengthen the image of SEE as an investment destination, encourage economic cooperation and attract new investment.

The BFC SEE seal of quality is an internationally recognized indicator of efficient local administration and a favorable investment climate in South East Europe. Ensuring a stable and predictable business environment, it guarantees investors that all certified municipalities in the region provide a premium level of services to companies.

Municipalities entering the program set benchmarks, positioning themselves against the most progressive ones in SEE, securing stronger support from national and international institutions and donors. BFC SEE has been acknowledged by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and included in the SEE 2020 Strategy as a priority measure.

Benefits for holders of business-friendly certificates:

  Certificate-award ceremony

  Ability to use the logo of business-friendly certification abiding by the book of standards

  BFC plaque and promotional material branded with the certification program logo

  Media promotion according to activities of the national BFC SEE partners

  Participation in national economic marketing through the BFC SEE national partners

  Promotion within events that organized by BFC SEE partners

  Set of promotional material according to activities of the national BFC SEE partners

  Intensive promotion through BFC SEE website

  Promotion of certified municipalities in cooperation with program partners, i.e. through contacts with investors and participation in trade fairs in the country and abroad according to activities of the national BFC SEE partners.

Key results

  More than 60 municipalities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are improving their business environment up to 70% through BFC SEE certification

  26 certified municipalities in the SEE region cover a total of 15.440 km2 of territory, providing high quality service and business-friendly environment to approximately 2 million people and 105.000 businesses

  The conditions for doing business in BFC SEE municipalities are 76% better than in non-certified ones, according to independent mystery shopper

  Certified municipalities realized 1 billion direct foreign investments in three years (2012-2015) attracting on average three times more investments than their non-certified peers

  80% of all municipalities from the region (12) listed on Financial Times list of top investment destinations in Europe (FDI Cities of the Future) are certified as business-friendly and the number has doubled since 2012

  90% of certified municipalities in the region find it useful or very useful to be certified as business friendly and have a BFC SEE seal of quality

  Up to 20 institutions and organizations from 5 countries participate in the BFC SEE network contributing to enhanced regional cooperation and exchange line ministries, chambers of commerce, association of municipalities, development agencies, CSOs and universities

  The BFC SEE Network developed regional structures and built the capacities of 250+ local government officials, consultants and evaluators from SEE region who received trainings on business friendly standards and certification

  The BFC SEE Network has sparked new regional initiatives (E-permitting) and implemented projects worth more than 2 million with the support of major international institutions such as GIZ, SDC, USAID, SIDA and World Bank

BFC SEE Partners