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Brownfield projects increasing

JUST a year ago, the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) didn't hesitate when asked whether greenfield or brownfield investment projects prevailed in Slovakia.
"Almost all the projects SARIO is currently working on are greenfield," it stated in interviews with The Slovak Spectator.

Existing industrial premises are becoming more appealing to investors as fresh construction sites become more scarce.
photo: TASR

JUST a year ago, the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) didn't hesitate when asked whether greenfield or brownfield investment projects prevailed in Slovakia.

"Almost all the projects SARIO is currently working on are greenfield," it stated in interviews with The Slovak Spectator.

But foreign investors have recently been warming to the idea of using existing production and warehouse premises, viewing these projects, known as brownfields, as a good means of investing in certain regions.

"During 2005, SARIO concluded 48 investment projects, of which 29 were brownfield, 17 were greenfield and 2 were joint-ventures," SARIO spokesman Michal Novota wrote in a short memo to The Slovak Spectator.

Clearly, investors still prefer greenfield projects for the flexibility of tailoring premises to their specific needs, but fresh construction sites are becoming scarce in the country, making brownfield projects a necessity.

To help investors find suitable production halls and warehouses, SARIO recently launched a database of land and property available at www.sario.sk/ ?databaza-nehnutelnosti, which lists real estate that municipalities want to sell.

The process pleases mainly regional governments and state institutions that prefer to fill and reconstruct traditional industrial buildings near cities and towns that were emptied after their previous producers left or went bankrupt.

Based on a cabinet regulation, the regions should respect the principle of reconstruction and renewal of existing industrial and construction areas when planning regional development.

However, the process is often not that easy.

For example, Trnava region spokesman Ivan Krajčovič said that the Trnava region has not yet felt the results of the new trend.

"From our experience of evaluating the regional plans of towns and cities in the Trnava region, industrial and business greenfield projects prevail, while interest in brownfield investment is minimal," Krajčovič said.

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