Skopje, 18 August (MIA) – Cornerstone laying ceremony was held Thursday in Bunardzik Free Economic Zone. It marked the start of the construction of a new factory by “Prodis" company, part of Russian pharmaceutical holding “Protek Group”, to produce natural and healthy products.


It is an investment in the amount of five million euros, and it will be realized in two stages. Such investment will provide for 300 new employments, “Protek Group” CEO Vadim Sergeyevich Yakunin announced at the cornerstone laying ceremony, also attended by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Vice Prime Ministers Zoran Stavreski and Vladimir Pesevski and representatives of other institutions.


– “Prodis” will produce homeopathic remedies, organic and non-organic products from cereals, as well as organic and non-organic tea, vitamins and minerals. It will export to the Russian Federation and to the markets in former USSR, Yugoslavia and overseas countries, Yakunin said.


According to him, “Prodis” mission is to offer homeopathic remedies and healthy organic products for longer and healthier life, and the products will be of selected origin, high quality and with competitive prices. The first stage, which will cover a period of two years, should include the commissioning of the production capacity of the factory on an area covering 4,000 square meters. During the first phase, 130 people will be employed. The second stage, to cover the period up to 2015, will include extension of the production facility for additional 3,500 square meters and additional 130 new employments. It is then that complete production of homeopathic remedies, from raw materials to final products, will be provided.


Prime Minister stressed the importance of the first Russian investment in the pharmaceutical industry, expressing hope for other Russian investments to come in sectors other than the ones in the energy and mining.


– Russian giant “Protek”, through its company “Prodis” in Macedonia, will market its products through Macedonia to Southeast Europe, Russia and the overseas markets in the USA and Australia. American “Johnson Controls”, British “Johnson Matthey”, Italian “TeknoHose” and American “Kemet Electronics” have a new neighbour in Bunardzik, Gruevski said, adding that Bunardzik, which was a meadow five years ago, has become true industrial zone where, in addition to the car industry, pharmaceutical industry has also taken its place.


Apart from Bunardzik, investments are also expected in Stip and Tetovo free economic zones. – Two large companies are interested in investing in Stip free economic zone, and they are just to decide on their investments, Gruevski said, adding that investments will continue as a result of Government policies for stimulating and maintaining stable economic growth and continuous improvement of the business climate. According to Gruevski, “Prodis” investment is also important because of the indirect employments, since, as he said, the company plans, in addition to its plantations for different herbs, to conclude contracts with many individual producers thus guaranteeing the purchase.


Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, pointed out that successful economies are characterized with new investments, opening new jobs, new factories and infrastructure investments.


– New investment in Bunardzik will contribute to narrowing the technological gap between Macedonian and foreign companies, while direct and indirect employments will mitigate the unemployment issue, Stavreski said. He also pointed out that it is important that 95% of “Prodis” products will be intended for export, whereby Macedonian raw materials and labour force will be employed. The company can be profitable, since the strategic investor is well established on the markets.


Contracts for launching the investment were signed earlier Thursday in the Macedonian Government building by “Prodis” Director, Costa Dimov and Directors of the Agency for Foreign Investments and Technological and Industrial Development Zones Skopje I – Bunardzik, Viktor Mizo and Natasa Hadzilega respectively. The signing was also attended by Prime Minister Gruevski and Russian company’s top officials.


“Protek Group” is one of the largest pharmaceutical holdings in Russia. It is active in production, distribution and retail sales of medicine and cosmetics products. The company employs 12,000 people. Their motto is “We keep people healthy and beautiful”.


“Protek Group” was established in 1990 and it is one of the largest distributors of medicine and cosmetics products in Russia. It has 655 pharmacies on the Russian and the Ukraine markets.


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