Austrian engineering giant, Palfinger, has kickstarted the construction of its new facility in Niš, targeting the production of crane and lift components, with plans to employ 375 individuals by 2027.
The investment is touted to exceed €35.5 million, with production anticipated to commence next year. Globally recognised for its cutting-edge solutions in lifting systems, Palfinger stands as a leading manufacturer with roughly 12,500 employees spread across 30 global locations.
The Austrian Ambassador, Keistijan Ebner, highlighted the move as a testament to the enduring economic ties between Vienna and Belgrade. “To date, Austria has invested a hefty €3.1 billion in Serbia, and our businesses have provided employment to 24,000 individuals here. We’ve consistently stood as one of Serbia’s most significant foreign investors,” remarked Ebner.
According to Ebner, Palfinger’s decision underscores the trust Austrian businesses place in Serbia as a strategic industrial hub, with a skilled workforce and conducive business conditions.
Palfinger’s CEO, Andreas Klauser, echoed this sentiment at the inauguration. He lauded Niš for its favourable business environment and the quality of its workforce. “We have well-educated individuals here, universities, and already 70 job applicants. We’ll be investing €34.5 million and have garnered substantial support from the Serbian Government,” Klauser added.
The launch saw attendance from notable dignitaries, including Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Economy Minister Slobodan Cvetković, Infrastructure Minister Goran Vesić, and Niš Mayor Dragana Sotirovski.
President Vučić noted Palfinger’s commanding presence, with over 35% of the global crane market share. The Niš facility will primarily focus on steel structural components, which will subsequently be processed and incorporated into cranes and other machinery. “Palfinger’s position in Niš is firmly secured. All production is export-driven, targeting markets like France, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia,” said Vučić. He also revealed a Serbian government subsidy of €4.6 million for Palfinger’s establishment, expressing hopes for the firm to open a research and development centre in Niš, which will also enjoy government support.
Vučić emphasised that wages at Palfinger’s Niš factory would surpass the national average in Serbia.
Photo: Predsedništvo Srbije