Good morning to our hosts, Prime Minister Vučić, Ministers Vujović, Vulin, Stefanović, Ljajić, Knežević; Mayors; and distinguished guests. I’m happy to be here for the opening of the new wastewater treatment plant and to celebrateApatinska Brewery’s impressive milestone of 260 years in business. The U.S. Embassy is a strong supporter of both U.S. investors and environmental protection projects, so I am particularly pleased to see a company owned by a U.S. investor – or in this case, a U.S.-Canadian investor – expanding and investing and, even better, investing in the environment, investing to make a positive difference in the community here in Serbia. I am happy to celebrate Apatinska’s success over the years, and to applaud its continued contributions since it became a U.S. firm in 2012.
I am proud to emphasize as often as I can that U.S. companies have an excellent reputation in Serbia and indeed worldwide, as they bring modern technologies and good corporate governance and practices to the environment where they operate. Our companies have high standards in health, safety, and environmental protection. They also transfer knowledge on how to increase productivity and modernize operations, while maintaining and increasing quality. U.S. companies have invested almost $3.8 billion in Serbia, and employ some 16,000 workers, helping to bring prosperity and a better future for all citizens of Serbia. We at the Embassy actively support U.S. investment in Serbia, and seek to partner with the Serbian government and private sector to help Serbia grow into a strong, modern, market-based 21st-century economy.
So congratulations, Apatinska, on remarkable growth and success over the past 260 years. I wish the company continued success for the next 260. And if you wonder why some companies succeed, what is the secret of their success, maybe in this case the answer is “Muškarci znaju zašto”