Representatives of the Chinese company Shandong Linglong and the Government of Serbia today signed an agreement on the construction of a car tire factory in Zrenjanin, in which around USD 1 billion will be invested and where 1,500 people will be employed.
The agreement was signed by Serbian Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic and the Chairman of Shandong Linglong, Wang Feng, in the presence of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Vucic said that he expected the contract with Shandong Linglong on the construction of the factory in Zrenjanin to be signed in around 25 days, on September 18 or 19, during his visit to China, in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The city has provided 136 hectares of land for the construction of the facility, and the plan is for the works to begin in April 2019 and to be carried out in three phases by March 2025.
The Chinese company intends to produce 13.62 million radial tires in Zrenjanin each year.
The company says on its portal that the decision to invest in Serbia was made thanks to low costs of the investment, construction, workforce and energy compared to other European countries. Shandong Linglong sells tires in 180 countries in Europe, Middle East, USA, Africa and Asia, and it belongs to the group of 20 biggest tire companies in the world and is one of the top 5 companies of its type in China.
– This is a big thing for Zrenjanin, this part of Vojvodina, but also the entire Serbia – Vucic said.
Serbia wins over Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia
Vucic stated that the negotiations with Shandong Linglong had not been easy, as they had considered for a long time whether to make the investment in Poland, the Czech Republic or Slovakia, but then decided to make it in Zrenjanin, as Serbia had offered the best conditions.
As he said, Serbia will provide considerable subsidies to the Chinese company for the employment of workers at the facility in Zrenjanin, which will be specified once the contract is signed.
He also said that several other Chinese companies will open facilities in Zrenjanin as well.
Vucic also said that Serbia had a budget surplus for the third year in a row, that the unemployment rate had dropped from 25.9% to below 12% and that the public debt would drop below 50% of the GDP before the end of 2018. He added that, in the second quarter, Serbia shared the second place in Europe by the growth rate, placing below Poland. In the first half of the year, as he said, Serbia is in the third place by the growth rate, sharing it with Hungary, with Ireland and Poland ahead.
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