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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Slovakia in car talks with Japan

Slovakia is holding talks with an unspecified Japanese carmaker on the construction of a car production plant in the country, Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar said on May 9. "We are negotiating with one car producer from Japan about building a plant to produce finished cars in Slovakia according to Japanese design and specifications, but from Slovak-made components," Mečiar said in the western Slovak city of Trnava. He did not elaborate. Slovakia's largest steel producer, VSŽ a.s., said in the first week of May, that it was in preliminary talks with Nomura Bank concerning the possible construction of a car assembly plant in Slovakia as part of VSŽ's long-term diversification strategy. In April, VSŽ Supervisory Board Chairman Alexander Rezeš said the east Slovak steel mill was preparing extensive restructuring measures, partly in the hope of forging ties with Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.

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Education Minister Peter Plavčan