Serbian government, EBRD, Rio Tinto and Mercedes negotiating about opening a factory in Serbia

The Government of Serbia, Mercedes, Rio Tinto and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are negotiating the construction of Mercedes’ electric car factory in Serbia, which should use lithium batteries.

The lithium for car batteries will be mined by Rio Tinto, Demostat announced today based on diplomatic sources.

Negotiations on a project worth 2.5 billion euros are getting closer to an agreement, and the potential investment depends on whether lithium will be exploited in Serbia or not, but also on the foreign policy moves that the Serbian authorities will make in the coming period.

As indicated, Mercedes’ decision to open a factory in Serbia, with EBRD guarantees, “would be a clear indicator of the direction Serbia is going – towards the West”, and would also send a strong message to other major global investors about Serbia being a safe investment destination.

The prerequisite for this and other planned investments from the West is “Serbia’s gradual alignment with the EU’s foreign and security policy, which ultimately means imposing sanctions against Russia.”

“The arrival of Mercedes can be part of the ‘carrot on the stick strategy’ which Serbia was promised if it behaves in a constructive way in the negotiations with Pristina and if it accepts the European plan for Kosovo and Metohija,” Demostat reported.

The article goes on to say that the European officials made it clear to the Serbian authorities that, if Serbia did not accept the European plan, it could suffer consequences that would, among other things, affect its economy. On the other hand, if the plan is accepted, Serbia was informed that it would receive economic aid, as well as investments in various economic branches.

(, 24.02.2023)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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