From India to Indjija — Serb town in IT park deal

INDJIJA, Serbia, Sept 23, 2007 (AFP) – Goran Jesic, a young mayor with a reputation for investment coups, will sign a deal this week with an Indian company to build an IT park here, yet another win for this tiny Serbian town already hailed as an “economic miracle.” Jesic is confident the project for the technology park will also boost the national economy, improve its war-tarnished image and help persuade young Serbians that they have a future in their own country.

The preliminary contract with Embassy Group, a property developer based in Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, was set to be signed on Monday, Jesic told AFP.

“It’s 200 hectares, the first stage is 25 million euros (35 million dollars), without infrastructure and without the land,” said Jesic.

“If everything is okay, from next year the same company wants to pay and build stage two, stage three and stage four … it’s (potentially worth) about 200-250 million euros,” added the 33-year-old.

For the town to have struck a deal that could rake in tens of millions of euros in investment is no mean feat.

Indjija is an otherwise featureless town on the Pannonian plain 42 kilometres (26 miles) north of Belgrade and 37 kilometres (23 miles) south of Novi Sad, Serbia’s second city.