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Chinese companies learn to localize in Serbia

Reporter: Xi Jia 丨 CCTV.com

06-17-2016 00:26 BJT

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As more Chinese companies choose to invest in Serbia, localization has become a learning process for them. Taking care of local workers and adapting themselves to local law systems are amongst their biggest challenges.

Nenad Belikovic operates a forklift at a Chinese memory foam factory in Serbia. At 33 years old, he just switched to this job from his last factory stint of 15 years.

"My last factory was too far from home, 250 kilometers away. This one is very near, and this factory is much bigger in scale, I like it very much," Belikovic said.

Working here, Nenad gets a lot more than just a shorter commute.

"The salary here is much higher than in my first job, so I can provide more security for the family. And we have saved enough money for a second-hand car, which makes going out more convenient,"  Belikovic said.

"We train the workers for three days on safety production related to their own work. We also buy insurance for every worker here in our factory," Cheng Xiaojun, Chinese representative of Memory Foam Factory, said.

This factory was established in 2012 in Serbia's Novi Sad city -- a Joint Venture of a Danish company and a Chinese company, which holds a 90% stake. The factory employs about 300 local workers and will take on more in the second phase.

"This is a big company with advanced working conditions. I've learnt new technology from my colleagues and have made lot of Chinese friends. I want to keep on working at this place," Electrical engineer Dejan Majstorovic said.

At the start, the factory faced problems due to unfamiliar laws and regulations in Europe.

"When we started setting up the company, as Serbia is a small country, we found it's hard to get the materials for production here. After consulting with the local government, they made our company a free trade zone so we can buy material from other places for duty free prices," Cheng said.

The company also helps the local economy as well as other cites around.

"We have 300 local workers now and will have more later. We provided an economic boost for Ruma and cities around as we buy our raw materials from nearby cities. So when we go out, no matter in Ruma or cities around, we can feel a very warm welcome from the local people," Cheng said.

Nenad says he's satisfied with everything in this factory, and would like to stay as long as he could.

Nenad's home is a happy one, I could feel their satisfaction when I visited. They are an example of how a foreign company can "go global" responsibly to benefit the locals, and be welcomed.

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