Export of Serbian – made armament on increase
Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac has stated that the Serbian defence industry has signed over USD 1 billion worth of contracts for jobs abroad, and announced the conquest of new markets in Angola, Gabon and Congo, as well as closing of final deals for jobs in Libya and Kuwait.
"Through the USD 400 million worth of contract enforced late last year with regard to the construction of three military factories in northern Africa, we have realised over USD 1 billion worth of promised activities during my mandate," Sutanovac said and added that the contract would help ensure jobs for Serbia's construction industry as well.
In an interview for Korak (Step) magazine issued by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Sutanovac said that Serbia recorded approximately USD 750 million worth of exports in the field of armaments and military equipment last year, and specified that Serbia exported USD 75 million worth of armaments and equipment in 2007, while the export of defence industry products brought in USD 183 million in 2008 and another USD 246 million in 2009, while this branch of export brought USD 247 million to Serbia in 2010. Serbia's seven defence industry factories currently provide permanent or temporary jobs for 9,000 people.
Thanks to the new export deals, around 3,000 new employees were hired since 2007, while approximately 2,000 people left their jobs through social or retirement programmes, all of which helped change the qualification and age structure of the employees, Sutanovac pointed out. The Defence Ministry intends to invest EUR 15 million in defence industry this year by advance payment and so help supply factories with modern machines and increase their capacity, the minister said. The Club of Business Journalists awarded Minister Sutanovac with a gold plaque for the contribution to the development of defence industry in 2010.