British American Tobacco (BAT), the largest British investor in Serbia, celebrated 15 years of successful business since the takeover of Tobacco industry Vranje. Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, together with high representatives of the company, Sotiris Kosturos, General Manager of BAT for Serbia and Montenegro and Richard Vredenberg, Director of BAT Vranje, attended the ceremonial celebration of the anniversary at the factory in Vranje. This celebration was an opportunity to review the remarkable results achieved by British American Tobacco since its arrival in Serbia, but also to present future plans, such as investments, opening new jobs and launching new modern products in the Serbian market.
“Over the past 15 years in Serbia, our company has directly invested more than EUR 270 million, of which more than EUR 120 million has been invested in the purchase and modernization of the factory in Vranje, which has become a production center for CEFTA countries. about 500 people in Serbia and we are proud that we are in a position to additionally increase the number of employees. The 15th anniversary of BAT Serbia has already been marked earlier this year, by introducing a new innovative product, tobacco heater, Glo, and this is still an indication of our trust in Serbian market, and in the coming period, we will continue with the trend of investment and employment in other segments of our operations on the domestic market, “said Sotiris Kosturos, general manager of British American Tobacco for Serbia and Montenegro.
The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, reiterated that it is extremely important for Serbia that companies already operating in our market additionally expand their business and invest in our country. “BAT is the largest British investor who invested more than EUR 120 million in the modernization of a factory in Vranje, of a total of 270 million euros that they invested in Serbia. Additionally, BAT is recognized as a contribution to the fight against the gray economy and helps the local community. It is the Government’s obligation to create a business climate that will be incentive for such companies, which will enable them to expand their business further, “Brnabic said during a visit to BAT in Vranje.
Richard Vredenberg, director of the BAT Vranje factory, also expressed satisfaction with the results achieved. “The annual production of the factory in Vranje increased four times compared to the initial volume, while export-oriented production increased from an initial three percent to almost 30 percent of the total production, with an additional tendency to grow. Thanks to the continuous modernization and improvement of production processes, our plant in Vranje became one of the best in the BAT group. We are particularly proud to have recently celebrated another significant jubilee, five years without incidents or injuries at work, which shows that employees are one of the priorities of our company. ”
Since the privatization of Vranje Tobacco Industry in 2003, British American Tobacco has become one of the pioneers of foreign direct investment. Over the past 15 years, BAT has paid more than 2 billion euros to the budget of the Republic of Serbia through taxes and excises, while last year this contribution amounted to over 280 million euros. BAT has consistently improved its business and has therefore taken a strong and stable position in the market. At the moment, the company has a significant role in the current transformation of the tobacco industry and is one of the leaders in the field of innovation. In addition to focusing on business success, continuous growth and care for the local community, BAT contributes to the gross domestic product as well as to balanced regional development.