Serbian President Boris Tadic and Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric attended on Friday in Prokuplje the opening of a new production hall of the German company LEONI that produces wires, cables and wiring systems.
Ciric said that the business activity of this company in Serbia is a proof that it is possible to turn a loss-making firm into a successful one in a short period of time.
He recalled that factory Fiaz from Prokuplje that was purchased by German LEONI had old halls and no work, whereas today we have a company with world production that employs Serbian workers.
The Minister noted that out of the initial 400 employees, the factory now has 1,000, and by the end of the year, as announced by the company’s leadership, this number should reach 1,300 or 1,400.
As part of the Programme for encouraging direct investment, administered by SIEPA, the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development gave €6.5 million to LEONI, i.e. €5,000 per each new employee.
The total investment of this company so far has been around €7 million out of the planned €10 million. The main activity is the production of cables for the automotive industry, while the unit in Prokuplje will produce cables for BMW.
Tadic said that clear signs of economic recovery are visible in Serbia and that better days are ahead of us.
The Serbian President pointed out that in the last two months the number of the employed in Serbia is growing for the first time in recent years and he also announced increased commitment to attracting foreign investment.
He congratulated Ciric, the former minister of economy and regional development Mladjan Dinkic, the leadership of the town of Prokuplje and employees of LEONI on making efforts to develop the factory in the way as planned two years ago when it was opened.
Vice President of LEONI Helmut Zehnder said that this company has great plans for the factory in Prokuplje.
A big job is ahead of us in Prokuplje and we will need more workers, said Zehnder, adding that workers will be trained and will have excellent working conditions and stable and regular income.