With a turnover of 350 million euro last year, Pirot Free Zone was the most successful of three free zones operating in Serbia. A total of 130 companies operate on an area of 17 hectares, BTA is reporting.
Apex, MM Pharma and Actavis are the three largest Bulgarian companies. All Bulgarian companies are engaged in trade. Pirot Free Zone is implementing a project under the Phare Cross-Border Programme with Pirot Municipality and Pernik Municipality (Western Bulgaria).
Part of an industrial park, which will be built on the territory of Pirot Municipality - Free Zone and Pernik Municipality, will take up 28 hectares. The project must be completed by 2011.
The free zone is a joint-stock company with Serbia's Tigar holding a 70 per cent stake, construction company Progres holding 8 per cent, and Pirot Municipality holding 12 per cent.
The free zone is an attractive place for foreign investors because all companies operating in it are exempt from the state tax on construction, which cuts their expenditures by 20-plus per cent a year. Also, goods are exported to Russia on preferential terms. Serbia is the only European country conducting free trade with Russia, Free Zone Manager Nesko Madic said.
A group of Bulgarian journalists are on a two-day visit to companies with Bulgarian investments in Serbia.