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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Slovak, Bavarian firms ink deal on locomotives

The itinerary of the one-day visit to Bavaria on November 22 by Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, who was joined by a group of Slovak businessmen, included signing a contract between the German firm Krauss Maffei and Slovakia's ZŤS Dubnica-Martimex holding company. The contract, which secures the modernization of engines for Slovak Rail (ŽSR), plans to modernize 50 engines for ŽSR by 2003. Siemens AG, which recently acquired Krauss Maffei, showed interest in further development of the project.

The new contract was signed chiefly to reflect the new ownership relations at Krauss Maffei. Siemens intends to make its business more dynamic, a goal supported by the European Union, which has approved ten rail corridors inclusive of a Slovak corridor to the Ukraine. Co-operation in production and supply of light trains for ŽSR is also expected.

In 1998, Bavarian companies invested 64 million Deutschmarks (1.4 billion Slovak crowns) in Slovakia, accounting for one-quarter of Germany's total investments in this country. One year earlier, Bavarian investments amounted to 80 million marks (1.8 billion crowns), or one half of Germany's investments in that year.

The most significant German investors in Slovakia are Siemens, Leoni AG, Nuremberg and Bayernwerk AG.

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