Owing to the state package of support measures, the Serbian economy is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic better than other countries in the region.
The food and chemical industries have suffered the least damage. The number of workers absent from factories due to infection or other reasons varies from 1 to 5%, which does not significantly affect production.
The beginning of the pandemic brought uncertainty and made it difficult to source raw materials, but it did not trample on the food industry.
For instance, the Leskovac-based company and largest company in the town with over 1,000 workers, Prima Novi has managed to increase its turnover, make new investments and create new jobs during the pandemic.
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“A few days ago, we commissioned a new waffle production line. The investment is worth 1,100,000 euro. We have also hired 40 new workers and with the old production line, our production capacity has now increased to 570 tonnes,” says Danilo Stojanović, general manager of the Moravka factory in Leskovac.
Bojan Stanković, a Moravka employee, is very satisfied: “Finding a job so quickly during the pandemic is incredible. We work here in three shifts without any interruption so that the waffles can reach customers in the area, but also across the ocean, in America and Australia.”
However, the wood processing industry paints a different picture due to the discontinuation of exports.
For example, a Dutch company, that opened a factory in the south of the country last year, had to produce masks and hazmat suits and donated them to hospitals, the army and the police, instead of furniture.
The furniture producer, Mobels from Vranje continues to export its chairs and armchairs to the Netherlands and Germany.
“We are moving to basic production. We have signed new contracts, our production is expanding, we have doubled the number of workers and hiring new ones. Also, we have increased salaries”, says Ivica Stanojević, Technical Director of Mobels.
The closure of stores around the world and the reduction in demand have also slowed down textile production. The Turkish company, Eurotay, which has been producing for world famous brands in Kraljevo for the past two years, closed the factory for five weeks last spring.
The situation is now improving, and new jobs are announced.
“Considering that we have received significant orders for the next period, we will employ 200 people by the end of December,” notes Ella Koca, Head of Human Resources at Eurotay in Kraljevo.
(Srbija Danas, 30.11.2020)
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