Skopje, 12th May 2014 (MIA) – Belgian company Van Hall manufactures the 210th bus in the factory in TIDZ Skopje 2 in Macedonia.

The official commissioning of the factory today was attended by the Government’s high representatives and guests from the business community, Van Hall management announced expansion of the manufacturing line and promotion on the European market, in addition to the American one, as well as increase in the number of employees from the present 430 to 600.

So far, EUR 25 million has been invested in the factory covering an area of 37,000 square meters.

Van Hall’s investment, according to Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is of an exceptional importance to the Republic of Macedonia, returning the bus industry tradition in the country, creating new jobs and sending positive signals to the other investors about the business climate.

The factory is an investment worth EUR 25 million, employing 430 our fellow citizens at present, which figure is expected to reach 600 in the period to come. The factory already operates actively, and around 100 buses manufactured therein have been exported to the USA. Total of 140 buses have been manufactured, and 70 are under manufacturing phase, meaning that works have already been undertaken for manufacturing the 210 bus in Macedonia, Gruevski said.

He pointed out that by the established cooperation of Van Hall with several domestic companies, bus manufacturing industry being especially present in the past returns, in a grand manner, in Macedonia today.

Prime Minister Gruevski expressed contentment that the brand of Van Hall established on the global markets was being manufactured in Macedonia, being their first foreign investment destination.

Their decision to invest in our country is one more affirmation of the successfulness of our reforms and the conditions we create for domestic and foreign investors, Gruevski said.

He pointed out that Macedonia, thanks to the increased number of investments and the new factories, expects to have even better performance this year than the last year’s third biggest GDP growth in total Europe. He bases such expectations on the increase of export by 17% in the first quarter this year, which record rates, as he pointed out, come precisely from TIDZ in the country, in which the production grows on constant basis.

CEO of Van Hall Phillip Van Hall said that they managed to build the factory in only one year.

We managed to start with the manufacturing and we have already delivered 140 vehicles, we have engaged 430 employees and we have signed sub-contracts with several companies. This is only a start given that in the last quarter this year, we will start to manufacture new vehicles for the European market, which will create additional 140 jobs, Philip Van Hall said.

Van Hall started its operations in Macedonia in July last year, after signing the agreement with the Government in 2012, pertaining to an investment worth EUR 20 million in TIDZ Skopje 1.

Capacity of Van Hall is the first in the factories in Macedonian industrial zones that manufactures a final product, being promoted under the brand “produced in Macedonia.” Majority of the manufacturing process already includes Macedonian manufacturing-related components.

Van Hall is a family company from Belgium, being established in 1947. It manufactures city and inter-city buses, as well as industrial vehicles. It has more than 4,000 employees worldwide, and its annual turnover amounts to more than EUR 450 million. More than 80%of the manufacturing of Van Hall is intended for export.

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