Kosice, December 2 (TASR) – Minebea, a major Japanese producer of machinery components and electronic devices, plans to construct a plant in Kosice, creating 1,100 jobs, Prime Minister Robert Fico announced on Friday.
“I’m happy to announce that in recent days we’ve made several significant steps to ensure that Kosice becomes the home for another international company,” said Fico, announcing that the investment has the value of almost €60 million.
“We all hope that these figures aren’t final,” he said in reference to the volume of investment and the number of jobs due to emerge at the plant.
The prime minister noted that Minebea has around 60,000 employees worldwide. “It’s a company involved mainly in producing supplies for the car and aviation industries,” said Fico.
According to him, Minebea won’t be just a run-of-the-mill production facility, since the Technical University of Kosice is also expected to become involved over time. “A workplace for research and development should be set up there, a fact that provides significantly higher added value to this investment,” Fico pointed out.
He admitted that the investor will ask for state investment stimuli, but at the moment it’s allegedly too early to talk about a specific amount.
Economy Minister Peter Ziga stated that Slovakia was competing with several countries for the investment. “We were with Romania in the final round. Although the labour force is cheaper in Romania, Minebea has decided to invest in Kosice,” said Ziga, adding that the plant should be opened in 2018.
Kosice Mayor Richard Rasi said that he believes the Japanese investor will be able to find enough skilled people in the area. “The city and region of Kosice aren’t particularly cheap, but we’ve been able to provide the best mix of an educated labour force [and its price], courtesy of the Technical University of Kosice,” said Rasi.
“Slovakia might not be the cheapest environment for new investments, but we’ve decided not to go only for price. Of course, the style of production will be different here than in Asia. We’ll really focus on creating as high of production optimisation as possible in Europe. We’ll need many engineers and technicians to help us to achieve this goal, so we’ve realised that the work price shouldn’t be the most significant factor to be considered,” said Minebea Slovakia general director and Minebea Europe chief manager Joerg Hoffmann.
“We’ll focus on two sectors in Kosice – the production of accumulators, engines, fans and LCD screen illumination for the car industry, and the production of one-way drive engines,” said Hoffmann, adding that a research and development centre will be set up later.
The construction work on the new plant at the industrial park near Kosice Airport should begin in April.