Good morning President Vučić, Prime Minister Mirović, Mayor Laban, AMETEK leaders and employees, and distinguished guests. It is a privilege for me to be here today with you at the opening of AMETEK’s new facility in Subotica.
We at the Embassy have been strong supporters of U.S. investors in Serbia and of Serbia’s economic development, so it is a real pleasure to see an American company expanding and investing further, and contributing to Serbia’s economic growth and the economic ties between our two countries. I understand that AMETEK came to Subotica only in 2012, after AMETEK acquired the German company Dunker. Since then, the company has been expanding fast, and this new production hall continues AMETEK’s trend of growth and success. As it continues to expand its operations, I hope that many of the motors produced here in Subotica will find their way to customers not only in Serbia, but across Europe and the world. It is also very significant that AMETEK has a strong research and development department here in Subotica, working to develop cutting-edge technologies together with AMETEK colleagues in other countries. This reflects the great technical and engineering skills that Serbia has to offer in the international marketplace.
I am proud to emphasize as often as I can that U.S. companies have an excellent reputation in Serbia and globally, as they bring both modern technologies and a highly professional corporate culture to the environments in which they operate. American companies observe high standards in health, safety, and environmental protection. They also transfer important knowledge and skills to increase productivity using modern business methods. Serbian workers gain tremendously from these skills.
U.S. investments have reached nearly $4 billion in Serbia, and have created jobs for over 17,000 employees, bringing prosperity and a better future for Serbia. We are ready to work with the Serbian government and private sector to encourage new U.S. investors to consider Serbia when they are seeking new locations for international investments. By bringing new technological and managerial know-how, American companies help Serbia’s competitiveness and its transformation into a strong, modern, market-based economy of the 21st century. Through educational and community programs, they improve the quality of life for many Serbian citizens. By standing for integrity and good governance, they set a high standard of ethical corporate conduct for others to follow.
When I speak with American investors in Serbia, they are generally very positive about their experience doing business here. They routinely praise the highly educated, skilled, multi-lingual, and hardworking labor force as a major benefit of investing in Serbia. I believe American investors are becoming more and more aware of the opportunities that Serbia presents.
The United States is interested in Serbia’s economic progress. An economically prosperous Serbia in an economically growing Balkans region is good for Serbian and European stability – a crucial anchor in today’s uncertain world. American companies like AMETEK play an important role in advancing Serbia’s economic interests, but also make the U.S. economy stronger. Strong bilateral economic and business ties connecting the United States and Serbia build on the already close people-to-people bonds nurtured by the many Serbs living in America, who still have family here.
I would also like to commend the Serbian Government, and you President Vucic, for improving the business environment in Serbia and for providing favorable conditions for U.S. businesses here to expand and develop further. I sincerely hope that AMETEK will continue its success here in Subotica. May your business thrive, while helping Subotica and Serbia thrive as well.