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Swiss investors go to western Slovakia

SKY Media Manufacturing and Glas Trösch could change the reserved investment approach of Swiss companies to Slovakia. At the end of last year both companies expressed their interest in opening new plants in Slovakia in forthcoming years.
According to Rudolf Staub, the Swiss ambassador to Slovakia, Sky Media Manufacturing, which produces CDs and DVDs, should soon come to Slovakia.

SKY Media Manufacturing and Glas Trösch could change the reserved investment approach of Swiss companies to Slovakia. At the end of last year both companies expressed their interest in opening new plants in Slovakia in forthcoming years.

According to Rudolf Staub, the Swiss ambassador to Slovakia, Sky Media Manufacturing, which produces CDs and DVDs, should soon come to Slovakia. However, negotiations between the glass producer Glas Trösch and Slovak officials have not yet ended. "I can only say that the investment might go to the town of Malacky," said Staub.

Sky Media is a young Swiss company that is part of the Sky Tec Group SA, a European leader in optical media production. The company announced its plan to open a factory in the western Slovak town of Nové Mesto nad Váhom in the Trenčín region.

"Sky Media has decided on such an investment thanks to the Slovak tax reform and cheap and qualified labour," said Katarína Somogyi, the secretary general of the Swiss-Slovak commercial chamber. The construction of the Sk4 billion (€100 million) plant should begin in May 2004 and combine existing facilities with greenfield development. Production should be launched a few months later, in October. The plant is expected to employ around 1,000 people and produce 60 million CDs and DVDs per month.

The company decided to expand abroad because orders exceeded Sky Media Manufacturing's production capacities, the news wire SITA wrote. The production unit in Slovakia will be the largest producer of optical data storage media in the European Union, able to compete with Asian producers.

About 95 percent of production will be exported. The company has already set up its affiliation in Slovakia. "This investment project belongs in the export-oriented segment that uses high technology with zero environmental burden," Sky Media representatives wrote to the economy minister, according to the private SITA news wire.

The Swiss-German company Glas Trösch announced in 2003 its intention to construct a new molten sand factory called Euroglass Slovakia for about Sk7.5 billion (€185 million).

The plant would produce construction glass and be built near the western town of Malacky in the new Euro Valley industrial park on an area of 52 hectares. It would create 300 new jobs in the beginning of its operation, a number that would later rise to about 900. The value of its annual output would exceed Sk2 billion (€49.34 million), most of which would be marked for export.

However, Glas Trösch and Slovak officials still have not definitely agreed on the location of the new plant or the government incentives. According to the Swiss-Slovak commercial chamber and the Swiss embassy in Slovakia, the company's decision to open its new plant in Slovakia is still not definite.

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