The City Council of Nis has authorized Mayor Darko Bulatovic to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Austria’s Zumtobel, which is planning to start building its factory in Nis this summer.
The arrival of Zumtobel was announced in a letter by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic back in January. He said that the company was one of the biggest producers of LED lighting in the world, and that the cooperation should be made official in approximately six months.
Head of the Local Economic Development Office, Milan Randjelovic says that the past months have been spent looking for a location.
– This is a standard memorandum, the kind of which has already been signed with numerous investors. The project is to be realized in two phases. At least 1,000 people will be employed, probably more. The value of the investment is EUR 30 million. People with university degrees will be employed, because of the technology. The memorandum envisages that the implementation of the first phase will require around 11 hectares of land in the territory of Nis – Randjelovic said.
The factory will be built in the area once used by the Center for Viticulture and Winemaking of Nis. The land, Randjelovic clarifies, is owned by the state, which is why Zumtobel will sign an agreement on the expropriation of land with the Property Directorate of Serbia.
– The land will most probably be provided without compensation in preparation for the arrival of the investor – Randjelovic said.
Randjelovic couldn’t say whether Zumtobel will get state subsidies for new employments and in which amount, because, as he says, this depends on precise data related to the number and structure of employees and certain other parameters.
Although Zumtobel hasn’t discussed salaries, Randjelovic says that minimum wages are out of the question, because “all investors receiving incentives from the state are obliged to pay wages higher than minimum wages by at least 20%”.
Zumtobel is a leading company in this field. It employs 7,000 people in 13 production facilities in 4 continents. Their last year’s sales revenues amounted to EUR 1.3 billion.
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