Skopje, 31st October 2011 (MIA) – “Prodis” Plant of the Russian pharmaceutical holding “Protek Group” for production of homeopathic remedies, organic and non-organic products and teas was opened in the Technological-Industrial Development Zone “Skopje 1” today.

The plant, covering an area of 5,000 square meters, will initially employ 45 persons, the number of employees being increased to 80 by the end of the year. In the second stage, it is expected for additional 4,000 square meters to be built, employing additional 80 persons, thus fully closing the production process of homeopathic remedies from raw materials to final product.

EUR 3.8 million was spent so far for the construction of the facility, additional EUR 400,000 being expected to be invested by the end of the year.

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, together with the economic team of the Government, Russian Ambassador to Macedonia, Oleg Nikolaevic Shcherbak, and the owners officially opened the plant.

– October 2011 is definitely month of investments in Macedonia. “City Mall” was opened, an investment worth EUR 100 million, where around 2,000 jobs are expected to be created, “Kemet Electronics”, an investment worth US$ 25 million, expected to create around 500 jobs, “Tehnohose”, an investment worth around EUR 15 million, expected to create around 200 jobs. Today we are ending the month of investments by opening the new plant “Prodis” of the Russian giant “Protek Group”, an investment worth around EUR 8 million by the time the investment is fully completed. First plant for production of homeopathic remedies on the Balkans is expected to employ 160 persons following its completion, Prime Minister Gruevski said at the plant opening ceremony.

The new plant, he added, should bring novelties and new technologies related to the pharmaceutical industry and the production of pharmaceuticals. In addition to direct employments, it will provide for numerous indirect employments of persons, above all from the ecological clean areas in Macedonia where “Prodis” will use raw materials from.

– Realization of this investment will also result in improvement of Macedonian export and improvement of the net trade balance with other countries in Europe and the world, Gruevski said.

Investment wave in Macedonia, he underlined, is not at all accidental, it is rather a result of a lot of work and efforts put.

– Construction of the technological-industrial development zones have contributed a lot, as well as the tax policy, meetings with the business sector, numerous discussions with investors and the private sector at the number of road shows, many measures for facilitation of the business and series of economic policies implemented for many years now. Campaign for promotion of business opportunities in Macedonia we are implementing for several years now and everywhere in the world has also contributed to this, Gruevski said.

He added that he expected and hoped that new investments in Macedonia would continue in future and that other Russian companies will follow “Protek Group” example.

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreksi pointed out that the opening of “Prodis” was a result of the meetings with investors held during the government road shows.

– This shows that Government puts efforts in undertaking concrete actions and concrete projects for attracting foreign investments through forums and bilateral meetings with individual investors who are presented the business climate and the investment opportunities in Macedonia. Second segment for attracting investments is the good ambient, i.e. the 23rd place Macedonia is positioned on in the world among a competition of more than 185 countries, which is the best in the region. The third factor is the Macedonian diaspora, which convinces the foreigners that Macedonia is a good place to invest in, Stavreski said.

Such example, he added, is the Director and co-financier of “Prodis”, Kosta Dimov, who convinced “Protek Group” CEO Vadim Jakunin Sergeyevich to invest in Macedonia.

TIDZ Chief Executive Officer, Viktor Mizo, pointed out that today’s event was an indicator that in addition to the USA, Great Britain, Italy and Belgium, interest in the zones in Macedonia was also shown by other countries in the world, like Russia, a country being an example for a fast-growing economy.

– Commencement of operations with the giant “Protek Group” is a sign that in a period of just several years we have managed to create a world brand in the zone in Skopje, offering all conditions necessary for a company to work efficiently and successfully. Two weeks ago, there were only two companies being active in TIDZ Skopje 1, and today their number increased to five companies. We hope many other companies will follow the example of “Protek Group”, Miso said.

Russian Ambassador Shcherbak pointed out that even in conditions of crisis, Russian investors continued to invest in construction and reconstruction of production capacities in Macedonia.

– Best proof for this is the commissioning of “Prodis”, thus the total number of Russian investments in Macedonia reached US$ 400 million, Shcherbak said.

He underlined that cooperation at government level should continue in future, as well direct contacts between businessmen from both countries so as to improve the economic cooperation between the Russian Federation and Macedonia.

“Protek Group” owner, Jakunin, said that what they promised 2.5 years ago was becoming a reality today.

– We have succeeded in our intentions to build a plant to manufacture products to meet the needs of a modern man. We have built a modern plant for production of organic and non-organic products, teas and homeopathic remedies with good quality and competitive prices, Jakunin said.

We would like to thank the Prime Minister of the Macedonian Government for the unreserved support extended during the project realization.

“Prodis” Director and co-financier, Kosta Dimov, at the same time owner of “Disako” company, pointed out that a plant with most modern standards opened in Bunargik.

– Today we are standing in front of a facility which is to create jobs and to bring new products in the country, as well as new Macedonian brand to be marketed on the international markets, not only in the Russian Federation, but throughout the world, Dimov said.

We have built, he stressed, a plant according to the highest standards and norms, and I believe the additional 30%, from the initially planned funds, invested are justified.

“Protek Group” is one of the largest pharmaceutical holding companies in Russia, engaged in the production, distribution and trading with pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It employs 12,000 people and has US$ 4 billion annual turnover.

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