Ball Corporation has announced that it is to invest €75 million on a new packaging plant in Serbia, a move that takes advantage of growing stability in the country.
According to a Reuters report, the investment is the largest by any foreign manufacturer in the Republic for a number of years.
The plans are expected to be formally announced next Wednesday, when the company reveals its fourth quarter and full year results.
According to the report, the government press office said Premier Zoran Djindjic was to meet Jan Driessens, chairman of Ball's European unit, on 24 January "to discuss possibilities of a big investment in a beverage can plant, which would export 80 per cent of its output".
"This will be a €75 million investment and the largest single greenfield investment in Serbia in the past three years," Foreign Economic Relations Minister Goran Pitic told Reuters.
The plant is expected to be built in a suburb of Belgrade and would probably start production in the middle of 2004, providing there are no hitches.
After Ball acquired the can making facilities of German company Schmalbach-Lubeca, it became the second biggest can maker in Europe. The Serbian plant is expected to further consolidate that position.