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Car industry one of three sectors of strategic importance

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic stated yesterday that since 2000, around €1 billion has been invested so far in Serbia’s car industry through 35 investment projects.

Opening an international conference about the car industry “New Production Centres and Supplier Chains in Serbia”, Dinkic said he expects investment in this industry to increase and invited car parts manufacturers to invest in Serbia.

He said that as for the 35 investment projects, the most important one was Fiat’s, adding that according to expectations, Fiat will launch the production of 25% of new components in Serbia, which will help to create 2,400 new jobs. He also added that Fiat’s subcontractors may hire another 10,000 people.

The Serbian government believes that the car industry is one of the three sectors of strategic importance, which is why it has prepared a set of investment incentives, he said.

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The Deputy Prime Minister noted that incentives of between €4,000 and €10,000 have been envisaged for each newly employed worker, noting that they are even double for underdeveloped regions.

Fiat Vice President Alfredo Altavilla said that the joint investment with the Serbian government has turned out to be a success, adding that Fiat Automobili Serbia in Kragujevac began exporting last month and dispatched the first 250 cars to Morocco and Egypt.

He said that Kragujevac is an ideal place for investment and recalled that cooperation with Zastava dates back to 1953.

There has been a great fall in the demand for cars, which is not the case in Serbia, he said.

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In every sense this is a special place for investment, he noted.

Fiat Purchasing Chairman Gianni Coda said that about 5% of automotive parts for Fiat will be produced in Serbia as of 2013.

He added that in 2009 approximately €30 billion was spent on purchasing car parts.

Coda said that Fiat wants to cooperate with various suppliers and subcontractors, but stressed that it is necessary for them to be reliable in terms of regular supply and quality.

Director of Fiat Automobili Serbia Giovanni de Filipis said he expects production of 200,000 vehicles a year in Kragujevac to be offered to the world market.

He also announced the opening of an Academy in Kragujevac, which will be a centre for the training of subcontractors, and will cooperate with the University of Kragujevac and other scientific institutions.

The conference, organised by the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development and the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA), gathered representatives of 150 companies from 20 countries.

(Government of Serbia)

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