On 10th May 2016, the BSCC sponsoring member, British American Tobacco SEE, welcomed Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to its plant in Vranje, where he officially opened a new EUR 5 million assembly line.
BAT is the largest UK investor in Serbia, having invested over EUR 200 million in the country since acquiring Duvanska Industrija Vranje in 2003. The latest investment will see capacity raised by 40%, with production being transferred from BAT’s recently acquire facility in Rovinj, Croatia, and Vranje becoming BAT’s production centre for the CEFTA countries. In a speech to the media and senior officials, Mr Vucic stated that BAT had made the best choice in focusing its efforts on Serbia, and that its example would attract other investors. He said that BAT was playing an important role in giving employment and hope to South Serbia and its business operations contributed more than EUR 100 million each year to the state budget.