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BELGRADE (Serbia), March 18 (SeeNews) - Volkswagen will discuss the potential construction of a car manufacturing plant in Serbia with Serbian officials this week, president Aleksandar Vucic has said.
A meeting with representatives of Volkswagen will be held by the end of this week to discuss the opportunities for attracting the German auto maker to Serbia, Vucic said in an interview for local private Pink TV station posted on the YouTube channel of the ruling SNS party late on Sunday.
"Serbia is the strongest, the most stable, and the best country for Volkswagen compared with all friendly countries interested in this investment -- Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and one other country," Vucic said in the video file.
Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti reported earlier this month that Volkswagen had informally decided to pick Serbia as the country where it plans to build a new factory, due to the favourable economic environment and a large number of parts suppliers.
According to Vecernje Novosti, the main advantage of Serbia is the Jadar lithium-borate project in the country developed by Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. Jadar is estimated to contain 10% of the world's deposits of lithium, the primary raw material for production of batteries for electric cars.
In November, Volkswagen chief Herbert Diess said the company was looking for a location for a 1.4 billion euro ($1.6 billion) multi-brand factory in eastern Europe which is expected to start production after 2022. The company plans to move the production of the Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca SUVs to the new factory, which would employ 5,000, from the plant in Kvasiny, the Czech Republic, Diess said back then.
($ = 0.881172 euro)