On January 31st, the day of the annual town festival, a footwear factory owned by the Italian company Geox will officially open its doors. This signals the beginning of the economic life of the Vranje free zone. Another Italian investor also plans to move towards the free zone of this city, located in the south of Serbia: Ditre Italia, which produces furniture. These two companies alone now take up thirty-three hectares of the free zone.
The 114-hectare piece of land that was previously used for military training was given to the city of Vranje as part of an agreement with the Ministry of Defense. Using a total investment of 15 million Dinars, the local authorities were able to build infrastructure and install water mains and electrical lines. Moreover, streets were built that provide access to the city from Corridor 10 (towards the Macedonian border) and towards the city of Nis.
“The total value of the work performed to equip the zone amounts to over 200 million Dinars. However, we needed to do it in order to respond to all the requests from foreign companies that want to begin production here,” said Ivan Stojkovic, director of the Vranje free zone.
Ditre Italia plans to hire more than 400 people. This has serious potential, particularly for Vranje’s position on potential investors’ maps.
“Vranje has about 10,000 unemployed residents. It is obvious why the arrival of these two companies is so important for us. We believe that this will also push other foreign investors towards opening their factories here. Our advantages are that we are located in a strategic geographical position and that the port of Salonicco is closer to here than to Belgrade,” said Vranje Mayor Zoran Antic, who maintains that with the support of the relevant ministries, other investors from Turkey and the European Union could arrive as well.
Antic maintains that the free zones in Vranje and in other Serbian cities help promote the country’s investment potential. With the opening of the new factories, work will begin on the free zone and the industrial zones order to increase employment in Vranje and the surrounding areas.
This post is also available in: Italiano