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Austrian Swarovski Commits $54 Million to Production in Serbia

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Swarovski International Holding AG, the Austrian luxury crystal maker, will launch next month the first stage of a planned 40 million-euro ($54.3 million) investment in Serbia, the first manufacturing unit abroad.

The investment will start with a 15 million-euro construction of the plant in Serbia’s northernmost town of Subotica, bordering Hungary, where local authorities gave Swarovski the land, Economy Minister Nebojsa Ciric told reporters in Belgrade today.

“Swarovski will invest additional 25 million euros in the second stage and the plant in Subotica will employ 600 people,” Ciric said.

The announcement followed eight months of negotiations and the search for the best location, Ciric said, adding that the Subotica authorities will issue all necessary construction permits within weeks.

Since 2005, Serbia has attracted 10.7 billion euros in foreign direct investments, which include 1.1 billion euros in the first eight months of this year, according to central bank data.

Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic’s Cabinet, facing elections by spring next year, is eager to attract industrial investments and secure exports and jobs in a country of 7.1 million people according to this year’s census, where less than 1.8 million have official employment and 1.5 million are pensioners.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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