For Immediate Release
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Five Serbian leaders are in Jacksonville this week to explore mechanisms of economic development including inter-municipal agreements and small business development. Starting in City Hall with an overview of government, they will spend the week in a variety of meetings with city officials and government agencies.
Monday the Serbians visit City Hall to meet Mayor Brown and Council President Bill Bishop. Staff will overview city government as well as tell the story of our consolidation. Interacting with Ander Crenshaw's office to discuss its service to our region at the federal level then meeting students at UNF will complete their day. The balance of the week will include meetings with city departments as well as the Small Business Development Center, Beaver Street Enterprise, Northeast Florida Regional Council, North Florida TPO, and Jax USA Partnership. Each group will address a different aspect of our community's economic development and inter-governmental cooperation.
Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia has been working hard to qualify and become a member of the European Union. Serbia received a full candidate status on 1 March 2012. Its ability to improve economically through application of best practices learned here will yield growth and opportunity in the region. According to the CIA World Factbook, Serbia currently suffers from a high unemployment rate (23.4% in 2011) and an unfavorable trade deficit.
Serbian guests are staying with American families, discovering our beaches and cultural assets, and socializing with many local residents while in Northeast Florida. Shopping is also an off-hours priority.
The Open World Leadership Center administers the Open World program, one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs for countries of the post-Soviet era. Begun as a pilot program in 1999 and established as a permanent agency in late 2000, the Center conducts the first and only international exchange agency in the U.S. Legislative Branch. Program results include new Congressional and other legislative relationships, and foreign partnerships with American government officials, jurists, nongovernmental organizations, universities, and sister cities. In this way, Open World supports the Eurasian-related interests, projects, and partnerships of American citizens around the country.
GlobalJax is the local host for Open World Programs. As a local nonprofit, it strives to empower our community to thrive in a global society by expanding Jacksonville's global connections, equipping our community to interact with the world, and engaging the community in international relations.
Media is welcome to interview Serbian delegates and participants. Names of visitors available upon request.
GlobalJax is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to create a more Vibrant, Inclusive, and International Jacksonville through international exchange programs with local professionals and education initiatives. GlobalJax also serves Northeast Florida by showcasing its international community with a resource database and an all-inclusive calendar of international events. For more information, visithttp://www.globaljax.org.