JFE Shoji’s EUR 50 million Investment in Serbia

JFE Shoji’s EUR 50 million Investment in Serbia


JFE Shoji acquired a 10-hectare land plot in the Indjija industrial zone in Serbia and embarked in an EUR 50m greenfield investment.

The new production plant is set up to produce rotors and electric motors for the global automotive brands. This project is aligning JFE Shoji Serbia with other prominent Japanese investors including Toyo Tires. This is another significant foreign investment in Serbia which also marks the expansion of JFE Shoji’s footprint in Europe.

Gecić Law provided legal counsel to JFE Shoji with Miloš Petaković as the lead counsel on this project.


Through strategic foresight and legal precision, we turn complex investments into opportunities for global and local economic synergy.”


Q&A with Miloš Petaković


Miloš, can you explain your position during this project and how your team supported JFE Shoji throughout?

As the Head of Real Estate at Gecić Law, my role was to steer our team through the unique complexities of this greenfield investment project for JFE Shoji. Our role was comprehensive, involving strategic advisory from land acquisition for the new plant to handling contracts. We supported JFE Shoji in acquiring a significant 10-hectare land plot in Indjija, advised on the Design and Build Contract with a Serbian construction company, and ensured all legal aspects were meticulously handled. Our approach was thorough and thoughtful, ensuring every step aligned with JFE Shoji’s vision for this significant milestone in expanding their European operations.


Can you expand on each role within the team and how their expertise came together to serve the client throughout this project?

As legal advisors, we implement a multidisciplinary approach in complex projects. Our team comprised experts in real estate and construction law, corporate law, international investments, and the implications of EU law. Each member brought a specific perspective, such as negotiating service contracts, advising on parcelling and acquiring state-owned land, and guiding the client through the construction permit process. Our collaborative efforts ensured that JFE Shoji received tailored, efficient, and comprehensive legal counsel, reflecting our commitment to legal excellence and client success.


What legal counsel was necessary for JFE Shoji, can you further explain the negotiations which had to take place and the protocol for these?

When JFE Shoji sought legal expertise, it was imperative to focus not only on the complex realm of real estate acquisition but also on ensuring full regulatory compliance and smooth contract negotiations, especially in alignment with Serbian law. In crafting the Design and Build Contract, our team prioritized understanding and integrating JFE Shoji’s long-term objectives, thereby developing a legally sound and strategically viable roadmap. Our project management was meticulous as time was of the essence for the successful fulfilment of the client’s business plan.  Regular, transparent communication was very important, ensuring all parties remained aligned and fostering a cooperative environment throughout the process.


How do you conduct your process of due diligence when working on projects like this, what makes your process so effective?

Our approach to due diligence, especially in projects like those with JFE Shoji, is rigorous and comprehensive, delving into every legal detail, such as scrutinizing title deeds, ensuring compliance with zoning laws, and evaluating environmental regulations. What sets our process apart is the attention to detail and our proactive strategy. By anticipating potential legal hurdles and addressing them pre-emptively, we mitigate risks before they adversely affect the project. This effectiveness is a direct result of our profound grasp of both local and international legal landscapes, paired with our strategic intent to harmonize these legalities with the overarching business objectives of our clients. Through strategic foresight and legal precision, we turn complex investments into opportunities for global and local economic synergy.


How will this investment help Serbia’s economy to thrive along with JFE Shoji’s business goals too?

The investment by JFE Shoji in Serbia represents a significant economic opportunity for the country. It boosts Serbia’s industrial capabilities by introducing over 100 new jobs and injecting advanced technology for electric motor and rotor production. Additionally, the project serves as a model for further Japanese investment in the country. For JFE Shoji, it establishes a strategic foothold in Europe, significantly enhancing their presence and improving distribution efficiencies. This dual benefit strengthens Serbia’s industrial sector and strategically aligns with JFE Shoji’s ambitions to widen its global operations. This investment illustrates a perfect symbiosis of foreign investment fostering local economic growth while serving broader business strategies.


Does Gecić Law provide clients with ongoing support once the deal has been made to make sure that progress is not halted, what does it mean to you to help businesses grow and thrive?

Absolutely.  Our commitment to our clients extends beyond the deal closure. We provide continuous support to ensure that our clients adapt and thrive in their new business environment. For us, helping businesses grow and thrive means being a part of their journey every step of the way, assisting them in overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities in a new market. This ongoing engagement is crucial, as it helps build sustainable, long-term relationships and contributes significantly to the growth and success of the businesses we partner with. We are already working on another exciting mandate with JFE Shoji.


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