“By coming to Serbia we are sending a positive message to all potential investors. This affects Volkswagen too as they might pay even closer attention to Serbia,” said Wang Feng, the president of the Chinese company Shandong Linglong Tire, which started the construction of its factory in Zrenjanin by breaking ground on March 30.
“Volkswagen’s purchasing department tracks its suppliers. It is important for them too that their suppliers are in close vicinity. Serbia has a good business environment. Volkswagen makes their own decisions but we are willing to share the positive experience we have had in Serbia,” Wang added.
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He said he expected the Zrenjanin factory to be ready for production by the end of next year, but the actual production would probably be launched in 2021.
“The factory`s planned output is 13 million tires per year which will be reached by 2025,” Wang specified and added that they were planning to export the tires produces Zrenjanin available in North Africa, Europe and North America.
He also said they were preparing a comprehensive employment strategy. “We will provide support to our employees and ensure excellent working conditions including training, necessary equipment and adequate wages,” Wang said.
Shandong Linglong plans to invest 800 million euro ($900 million) in the construction of the factory, which will have 1,200 employees and will produce 13 million tires per year, the Serbian government said in a statement on Saturday.
The factory will span 500,000 square metres and represents the largest foreign investment in northern Serbia ever, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said during the official groundbreaking ceremony, according to a press release issued by the Zrenjanin city government.
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