The Serbs' New Quest: Western Investment

In April, Milan Beko, chairman of Zastava DD, the sprawling 12,000-hectare Yugo plant some 100 kilometers outside Belgrade, feared his factory would be bombed by NATO. He spent the night phoning French and Italian auto executives and ambassadors with whom he had been negotiating export agreements just days before. "I reminded them of our past and future business relations, and I offered any sort of a deal to save the factory," says Beko, 38. Beko's foreign associates quickly contacted NATO officials to point out the facility was guarded by a human shield of workers. Beko says the intercession explains why the factory wasn't completely destroyed, even though it was producing M-93 multiple-grenade launchers on the side.

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