Development of Serbia-Germany ties receives boost: "We never got support like in Becej"
Scheib said German automotive industry companies have "a good footprint in Serbia" and are coming to our country because of the trained workforce and infrastructure
A new facility of the Knott Autoflex Yug plant manufacturing car trailer parts was opened in Becej today, and for German Ambassador Thomas Scheib this new German investment in Serbia, at the very beginning of 2020, represents "a very good omen for further development of Serbian-German relationship."
During a ceremony to mark the opening of the hot-dip galvanizing facility in Becej, which was also attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Scheib said that he witnesses a growing interest of German companies to do business and invest in Serbia, and that the expansion of the Knott Autoflex Yug factory showed "an optimistic contribution to the future."
Scheib said German automotive industry companies have "a good footprint in Serbia" and are coming to our country because of the trained workforce and infrastructure.
"I am convinced that economic relations between the two countries will be developing well, and Germany will continue to support Serbia in its reform course and path toward EU membership," said Scheib, who congratulated the management and workers of the Knott Autoflex Yug plant on the opening of this new facility and wished them success in their work.
Director of the Knott Group Germany Valentin Knott stressed that the company never before received the kind of support from the state and local self-government as has been the case in Becej, and especially thanked Serbian President Vucic.
"It is our great honor and pleasure to celebrate the opening of our new facility today with President Vucic," said Knott.
He said that the "philosophy" of the group's business is to give factories it opens in other countries autonomy in operation and let them take responsibility for the business.
"We don't send our managers to other countries, we need the creative strength and knowledge of individuals from the countries in which we operate," said Knott, citing the example of Knott Autoflex Yug CEO Dragan Knezev, with whom the group founded the Becej factory in 2003.
He added that a strong team is working in Becej developing the plant, while the opening of the new facility is a great achievement for Serbia, and the company headquartered in Hungary.
"100 years ago we were at war, and today we are together and creating a new whole, and we are doing it in the spirit of Europeanism. We want all nations to be under one roof and that is why we support Serbia on its path to the EU," Knott said.
Autoflex Knott Hungary CEO and co-owner Sandor Szabo said the expansion of the Becej factory shows how business can cooperate internationally and erase borders.
Szabo said the company was founded in Becej 17 years ago and has been developing successfully in the meanwhile - and that its products are present in markets across Europe and around the world.
Knott Autoflex Yug CEO Dragan Knezev said the launch of the hot-dip galvanizing plant is a strategic investment that allows the company to expand production, continue to develop products and achieve greater exports.
As he said, this is a state-of-the-art hot-dip galvanizing plant in Europe, built to the highest environmental standards.
"We purchased the equipment from the Italian manufacturer Gimeco, and for the rest, we hired domestic companies," said Knezev.
As he said, along with the growth of investments in Serbia in all economic areas, the demand for this type of steel protection is growing.
"In 2019, almost 80 percent of the hot-dip galvanizing products were imported from neighboring countries. The capacity of our line is 20,000 tons, we need 6,000, so we will be able to offer the rest to other companies in Serbia who still import this type of services," said Knezev.