I should have published this back in late May when it happened, but better late then never. After working on this project over the past year and a half, I can finally say this:
The Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia today (May 28, 2008) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with executives from the French company Montupet S.A. for an investment project in Macedonia. Montupet will build a plant in the Free Economic Zone near Skopje, Macedonia to produce aluminum cylinder heads for automobile manufacturers. The plant, which will employ up to 500 people in the first phase, will be part of an initial investment of 55 million euros. Montupet plans to initiate construction by the end of 2008 and be operational in 2010. Macedonia was chosen in competition with a number of regional sites in Bulgaria and Romania, among others.
Montupet is third in a row Tier 1 supplier which has chosen Macedonia, following the likes of Johnson Controls and Johnson Matthey. This momentum over the past 2 years confirms the competitive position of Macedonia. I initiated discussions with Montupet in February of 2007, and focused constantly on the developments and opportunities with this company but also with the automotive sector in general as part of my mission to attract companies to invest in Macedonia.
Today, Macedonia has one of the best tax regimes in Europe, at 10% flat corporate and personal rates, and lowest wages with high unemployment of skilled people. When combined with excellent logistics to Europe and Turkey, and Government incentives, Macedonia presents a sustainable investment destination for European manufacturers.
Montupet works in partnership with many of the major European and American automobile manufacturers and is acknowledged as a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of aluminum cylinder heads, as well as being a major supplier of other aluminum automotive products such as wheel rims.
Personally, this was a very satisfying moment, not just for me but also for my cabinet who excelled at all aspects to win this project. Fortunately for us, there’s more to come.