East Slovak industrial parks growing

Several new industrial park projects in east Slovakia, once completed in 2003 and 2004 with money from the state, the EU and investors themselves, promise to relieve the region's over 25 per cent unemployment rate.

Nearest completion is a park near Košice on the Slovak-Hungarian border known as Kechnec, where US investor Molex has been settled for two years employing 700 workers. Kechnec town mayor Jozef Konkoly expects that after new investors are added the park could employ several thousand people.

Also underway is a chemical industry park in Humenné near the premises of the former Chemlon firm, where Rhodia Industrial Yarns has expressed interest in settling along with a Czech and a Norwegian firm. The Humenné park is scheduled for completion at the end of 2003, and should employ 250 people.

A wood processing park in Spišská Nová Ves is being built with EU help on the premises of the now-bankrupt Nový Domov furniture factory. It too should be complete by the end of this year, and Spišská Nová Ves mayor Karol Mitrík says the city has already signed investment deals with four firms promising over a thousand jobs.

A park near the town of Rožňava is emerging on the site of the bankrupt Želba mining and smelting firm, and should be finished in 2004. The town is asking for help from the government on the project, as it has stumbled on financing and land ownership problems, but it has already drawn interest from the Cegép and Rezo firms.

Finally, parks in Michalovce and Poprad are coming off the drawing board with the support of existing local investors BSH Drives and Pumps and Whirlpool, respectively, who intend to draw their suppliers to their vicinities to cut production costs.

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