Serbia is still one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investments, not only in the region, but in the whole of Europe as well. One of the main reasons for that is cheap workforce, but also the fact that Serbia is a signatory of the CEFTA Agremeent and a free trade agreement with Russia. New investments create new work positions, so they are also seen as a salvation for Serbian economy. More by Tamara Prodanović.
On the basis of a municipality certification programme of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development, Serbia has 21 municipalities with good business environment, which is confirmed by two billion euros of investments. The NALED certificate on a good business setting is a document that has become the first signal for investors that the targeted municipality has business conditions in line with EU standards. For instance, company BOSCH has been present in Serbia for years and their experience is positive, which has made them decide to expand their capacities and make an investment worh 71 million euros. This has ranked them among the five top German investors in Serbia. They will be producing high quality components in the town of Pecinci, to meet additional demands of the European Car Industry. French company MICHELIN, which has bought TIGAR TIRES factory in Pirot, is planning to invest wome 170 million euros and expand its capacities to 12 million tires a year.
The Serbian government and Slovenian company ’’Gorenje’’ have signed a contract on the construction of a factory of refrigerators in Valjevo. Gorenje will invest 20 million euros and the factory will span 30,000m2. The works are to be completed in a year and half and double up annual production. Swisss company COTTON MEDICS has purchased land in the industrial zone in Irig, where they are to build a sanitary towel production plant. Austrian company Eymaxx, engaged in the construction of business premises, business parks and logistic centres, is interested in investing in Stara Pazova. German company Deichmann, Europe’s top shoe manufacturer, is to open another two sales facilities in Serbia – in Belgrade and Krusevac –respectively. Belarus rubber industry company Belshina is to embark on a long-term business and technical cooperation with the Trajal Coorproation of Krusevac.
The Kostolac thermal power plant will continue being modernized with funds from a Chinese loan. The next phase envisages an investment of some 100 million USD in the increase of production in the Drmno opencut mine to twelve million tons annually. Another thermal power block, worth 570 million USD, is being built. Canada has announced new investmetns and the opening of a regional office of the Lavalin engineering company. In 2000, Canada started cooperation with Serbia from scratch and is now operating here with 500 million dollars of investments, which sum could be three times as high in a couple of years. Recently, Lavalin signed a contract on reconstruction and modernization of the copper smelting plant in Bor and on the construction of a sulfuric acid plant, worth some 220 million dollars. Another Canadian company, Magna International, has already signed a contract with Odžaci Municipality on the building of a car seat factory.