I am satisfied that serious investors are coming to our city, that existing ones are expanding their operations, and that we are interesting to foreigners, but I am even more satisfied that domestic companies see Zrenjanin as a good place to invest.
There is ever-increasing interest in your city among investors. This spring alone, company Essex launched operations, MB invest bought land, Unionimpex and Momo announced new advances, as did MPZ Agrar, UM-ING etc. How many new jobs can Zrenjanin residents expect in the period ahead?
– I can state with pride that we have made great strides forward in the last four years and that we are in constant negotiations with new potential investors. Reducing the number of unemployed is one of our priorities, and we are very dedicated to that job and also, I would say, successful.
The investors that already operate in our zones are very satisfied, and some of them, such as Dräxlmaier, Fulgar, Gomex and UM-ING, are expanding their capacities. Dräxlmaier alone has hired around 2,000 new workers, which is extremely important for us.
Unionimpex is planning to open a showroom for Peugeot cars and to employ 12 to 15 new workers, while Momo, a local Zrenjanin firm with a tradition dating back 32 years, has begun expanding its capacity, which will naturally also require an increase in the number of workers.
The largest investment – not only in Zrenjanin but in Serbia as a whole – is the construction of the production facilities of South Korean company Essex, which is being realised in the “Jugoistok” (Southeast) industrial zone. This contract is worth €30 million, and the production complex will employ 160 workers who will have an average net monthly salary of 90,000 dinars.
Thanks to the environment that we’ve created, small businesspeople have expanded their operations. This led to 448 workers being sought at the 22nd Employment Fair, from drivers, sales staff and sales agents, via warehouse staff, locksmiths, bakers, bricklayers, steel fixers and tailors, to sales managers
Do you also expect new investors and, if so, from which industries? Is the local government working on the creation of even better conditions; do you plan to expand industrial/business zones?
– Apart from industry, the City of Zrenjanin also devotes special attention to agrarian policy and the creation of optimal conditions for the development of this branch of the economy. Company MPZ Agrar, which operates within the framework of Meat Industry Matijević, purchased 10 hectares of land in the “Northwest – Elemir” Industrial Zone and will construct the most modern cold storage facility there, with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes. MPZ Agrar also plans to plant fruit on an area of around 1,000 hectares, 300ha of which are on the territory of Zrenjanin, and 200 workers will get jobs.
Otherwise, every investor enhances the attractiveness of the industrial zone in which they operate, enticing new investors, which in turn raises the price of construction land and improves the economic environment.
Zrenjanin is also awaited by important tasks in utility infrastructure. What are your plans like? What is happening with the project to construct a water factory?
– We work for every day to be better and, of course, it is a great wish of mine to do everything that we promised citizens we would, and we are doing that – from the bypass and water factory, to large infrastructure works such as the construction of four lanes on roads to Belgrade and to Novi Sad.
When it comes to the water factory projects, after overcoming procedural and legal problems, it will finally be made operational, and supplying citizens with safe drinking water will finally be solved, after 14 years. This did not progress as fast as we wanted and expected, but we are still just a step away from a lasting solution to this problem.