The Serb National Council has been continuously working on the return of the exiled refugees and growth of under-developed regions since its foundation. The Council has participated in realization of projects regarding the fulfillment of necessary conditions for the return of refugees, reconstruction of housing units, repair and development of necessary infrastructure, and more recently on economic growth and sustainability of regions where members of Serbian community live (with special emphasis on Areas of Special State Concern - ASSC).

Returnees face devastated infrastructure (roads, water supply and sewage systems), lack of expert help, insufficient insight in the work of institutions which encourage and develop agricultural and economic activities and lack of funds for the development of current and new programs.

As a result, the Serb National Council established the Centre for Development and Investment in order to promote socio-economic development of Serbs in Croatia. The Center is engaged in providing information about agricultural and economic news, education, consulting of individuals and cooperative sector on receiving incentives, choice of suppliers, distribution of goods and services, and financial loan programs.

The Centre for Development and Investment has participated in setting up and promotion of cooperatives since they have proved themselves to be the most efficient and acceptable model of employment stimulation and revitalization of regions where returnees reside. Thus, The Center has, in the course of 2 years, participated in preparation and development of documents for funding of 60 returnee cooperatives, as well as consulting on available funds. Also, the Centre has been continuously promoting the foundation of small family farms (OPG) as an effective part of agricultural sector. Furthermore, it took part in establishing chain of fruit and vegetables’ drying facilities in Lika and Dalmatia.

The Centre for Development and Investment in co-operation with its partners, The Fund for Aid to Refugees, Expelled and Displaced of Vojvodina and The Commissariat for Refugees of the Republic of Serbia, has secured humanitarian aid in various donation forms: financial aid, distribution of seeds and seedlings, agricultural and public work machinery, etc.

Educational and professional workshops for returnees were organized to keep farmers up-to-date on new developments in cattle breeding and agriculture, methods of drafting and financing projects and reform of the system of incentives.

The Centre for Development and Investment aims at closer co-operation with relevant government and professional bodies in Croatia and beyond in order to ensure additional aid to local authorities. At the same time, co-operation with members of Croatian Parliament has been further strengthened in the field of passing relevant laws regarding regional development, economic growth and implementing amendments important for returnees and under-developed regions. Special efforts have been made in establishing non-EU contacts in (co)financing projects deemed as beneficiary for the local authorities.

The Centre for Development and Investment has two regional offices in Vukovar and Knin, where a large number of Serbs live, in order to advance co-operation with municipalities in Areas of Special State Concern.