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Tadic attends opening of Cooper Tires in Krusevac

24. March 2012. | 09:37

Source: Tanjug

U.S. company Cooper Tires opened a factory of car tyres in Krusevac, central Serbia, on Friday, which represents an investment worth USD 50 million and a possibility to employ 700 people.

U.S. company Cooper Tires opened a factory of car tyres in Krusevac, central Serbia, on Friday, which represents an investment worth USD 50 million and a possibility to employ 700 people.

At the opening ceremony, Serbian President Boris Tadic pointed out that only through responsible work of all, including the factory's employees, can every job, investment and the country's future be preserved. During the ceremony attended by the company's CEO Roy Armes and U.S. Ambassador in Serbia Mary Warlick, Tadic said that new investments are hard to find in the times of crisis everywhere in the world, especially in Serbia which did not have the reputation of a stable country for investments in the past few decades.

When Armes first suggested to the Cooper Tires management board that the company should invest in Serbia, they asked him why invest in Serbia and not elsewhere, Tadic said, adding that when big companies suggest potential investment destinations, they are never asked about the reasons. However, Serbia needs to fight against the dark mood which prevailed against the country in the previous decades, Tadic noted.

According to him, Serbia managed to change this image over the past few years, and the EU candidate status also points to the country's credibility. It is the people of Serbia that won both the candidate status and the investment, Tadic said addressing the factory's employees.

He stated that the country must not renounce this path at any cost so that the coming generations could live in a better country than that which the current government was first faced with.

Tadic called on employees to dedicate themselves to their jobs and leave a better country to the coming generations.
"Workers, I have one thing to ask from you: focus on your work, because only in that way you will be able to preserve it and prove that this investment of a major global tyre manufacturer is a safe one. Only that way will your families be safe as well. Keeping your job is the key," Tadic said.

These times are very difficult for investments and some investors are leaving Serbia, like U.S. Steel. Therefore, a responsible attitude towards work is of key importance, Tadic remarked.

Five extra minutes at work, a higher level of commitment towards work, that is what we need. By preserving your jobs, you are protecting Serbia's well-being. We are competing with the countries of the region and the world as well in order to get new jobs. That way we are defending the country's sovereignty, our rights, our culture, Tadic stressed.

"We are not giving up. We will save the 5,400 jobs in (the steel plant in) Smederevo too," Tadic stated, adding he is proud that the workers of former Trayal company will now work for the U.S. Cooper Tires and that this company will be a Serbian company too.

The Serbian government and Cooper Tires signed a framework investment contract in December last year, which states that the U.S. company will invest more than EUR 50 million and hire 700 workers in the first stage of its investment in Krusevac.

The contract was signed by Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric and Cooper Tires President of the International Tire Division Hal Miller. President Tadic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Mary Warlick were also present at the signing ceremony.

Cooper Tires practically bought the tyre factory that was part of Trayal from Krusevac for EUR 13 million, while the rest of Trayal will be owned jointly by the government and the current owner, Brikel from Bulgaria. Cooper Tires is one of the world's largest tyre manufacturers for industrial and off-road vehicles and cars. The company owns 60 plants around the world and employs 13,000 people.

It is the second largest tyre producer in the U.S., after Goodyear.


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