In the presence of top officials of the Republic of Serbia, representatives of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, senior management of Shandong Linglong Tire Co., leaders of AP Vojvodina and the City of Zrenjanin, the realisation of the largest greenfield investment in Serbia and the largest investment ever in the economy of Zrenjanin commenced
Construction of the plant of Chinese tyre manufacturing company Shandong Linglong Tire is a job worth 990 million dollars that will bring 1,200 new jobs to our city. Testifying to the kind of investment that this relates to is the prognosis that the revenue generated will total around 600 million dollars, notes Mayor Čedomir Janjić.
The date of Saturday 30th March 2019 will remain remembered as one of the most important dates in the recent history of Zrenjanin…
– Yes, that day saw the laying of the foundation stone of the factory that will be named “Linglong International Europe” d.o.o. Zrenjanin. The Serbian delegation was led by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, while leading the Chinese was Linglong company president Wang Feng and the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Serbia, H.E. Chen Bo, while the ceremony also included the participation of Economy Minister Goran Knežević and myself, as the mayor of Zrenjanin.
Best illustrating the importance of that day for both Zrenjanin and Serbia are the words of President Vučić, so I will quote him:
“This is what you live and work, and today, here in Zrenjanin, history is being written, but also the future of Banat and Serbia, because this is a great success for Serbia. This is happiness for our people, especially in Banat, which for decades hasn’t seen such a big and important plant that will bring success and progress.
I’m particularly happy that we reached this point via a thorny path, as Chen Bo said. Serbia was not on the list of choices, and when I first met Mr Wang I told myself that this is a very energetic and ambitious man, but very tough for negotiations and discussions. We were persistent and struggled day after day to prove to him that Serbia is the right choice for Linglong, but also Serbia for him.”
The factory in Zrenjanin will primarily produce high -performance radial tyres for passenger cars, lorries and buses, agricultural tyres and tyres for off-road use
And you experienced the laying of the foundation stone as one of the most important moments in your career. What did you say to your fellow citizens at the time?
– I told them that we first welcomed our friends from China on June 2017, in the same field where now, after just two years, and thanks primarily to President Vučić, who led negotiations personally, the plant of the largest company is now sprouting up. I said that nothing will be the same after that day and that Zrenjanin will again be among the leading industrial cities in Serbia. I said to Mr Wang that I am certain that, in five or 20 years, he will say that coming to Serbia, to Zrenjanin, was an excellent business move.
However, it looks like we won’t have to wait that long, because the president of Shandong Linglong Tire, Wang Feng, immediately thanked us for our attention and support of their work. He highlighted the good relations between the two countries and the efforts of the president in realising this investment, while he also emphasised that the project in Zrenjanin is their second-largest abroad in terms of volume.
Is the opening of this factory the only major job that you can boast of having achieved?
– Not at all. We are really working. With preparatory works, the driving of massive pylons, excavating of foundations for pillars and approaches to the riverbanks, construction of the bridge over the Begej has begun, representing the most demanding structure on the entire route of the main transit bypass road around Zrenjanin.
This investment has a total value of 423 million dinars. So, after a gap of 27 years, Zrenjanin has started building a new bridge over the Begej. This will be the eleventh bridge across the river or lake in the city centre and the sixth bridge for the transport of motor vehicles, alongside three that are exclusively for pedestrians and one rail bridge.