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Serbia: large Chinese tire factory to be built

Investment is worth 800m euros. Deal with Football Federation

01 April, 10:38
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, APRIL 1 - Serbia's president Aleksandar Vucic attended a foundation stone-laying ceremony for the large tire factory which will be run by China's Shandong Linglong tire company in Zrenjanin, northern Serbia. The investment is worth 800 million euros, the largest ever in Vojvodina (Serbia's richest and most developed region, ed), which will employ 1,200 people. The new factory will be the largest in Serbia, covering an area of 500,000 sqm, and it will produce 13 million tires each year (the first deliveries will be available in 2021). The Chinese company's chairman Wang Feng pointed out that 'Shandong Linglong' employs 13,000 workers worldwide and that it is the world's 20th largest tire manufacturer and the 3rd largest in China. The group has research centers in North America, China and Germany and, Wang Feng announced, another center will be built in Serbia. The Serbian government considers the Chinese investment so important that the Zrenjanin ceremony was attended not only by Vucic and the entire leadership of the Chinese company but also by the premier Ana Brnabic, the ministers of economy, finance, commerce and tourism, the president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the local authorities of Voivodina and the municipality of Zrenjanin. The management of Shandong Linglong recently signed a sponsorship agreement in Belgrade with the Serbian Football Federation (FSS) for the Superliga and First Division, the two main soccer championships in Serbia. Serbia is focusing on Beijing's investments and president Xi Jinping visited Belgrade in June 2016, whereas his counterpart Aleksandar Vucic, with whom Xi has established a very friendly relationship, has been invited to participate in the Silk Road conference scheduled for the end of April in Beijing. In the last few years, China promoted the '16 +1 'initiative with the aim of supporting and financing large-scale projects, especially in the infrastructure and energy sectors, in 16 Central and Eastern European and Balkan countries. Regular meetings and conferences take place in China and in all the countries involved in this initiative. (ANSA).

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