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BUSINESS FOCUS - ITALY - ITALIAN INVESTMENTS IN INDUSTRY TO TRANSFORM SLOVAK TOWN

Entrepreneurs bet on Šamorín

SEVERAL Italian small- and medium-sized companies are expected to set up shop this year in Šamorín, a small town near Bratislava. Once the industrial park moves in, the 12,500-strong village will be virtually transformed.
Today, Šamorín suffers from a shortage of jobs. The unemployment rate stands between 9 and 10 percent - twice as high as in the nearby Slovak capital. The majority of those who do have jobs commute to Bratislava.
According to Mayor Károly Domsitz of Šamorín, once the Italians move in, things will start looking up.


THE ŠAMORÍN mayor expects the town to blossom after the industrial park is established.
photo: Courtesy of the Šamorín municipal office

SEVERAL Italian small- and medium-sized companies are expected to set up shop this year in Šamorín, a small town near Bratislava. Once the industrial park moves in, the 12,500-strong village will be virtually transformed.

Today, Šamorín suffers from a shortage of jobs. The unemployment rate stands between 9 and 10 percent - twice as high as in the nearby Slovak capital. The majority of those who do have jobs commute to Bratislava.

According to Mayor Károly Domsitz of Šamorín, once the Italians move in, things will start looking up.

"This will help us not only fight the unemployment but also the fact that so many of us have to travel to Bratislava every day, which is very time- and money- consuming," Domsitz told The Slovak Spectator.

The partnership between Šamorín and Italian entrepreneurs began about five years ago, when Italian industrial manufacturing companies started operations in old, previously abandoned production halls in Šamorín.

The venture was successful, and plans started formulating about expanding and building an industrial park there.

Italian entrepreneurs and Šamorín agreed on 12 hectares of land previously co-owned by the Šamorín municipality and the Church for the site. In cooperation with Italian small- and medium-sized companies associated with the Industrial Chamber of Vicenza, Šamorín laid out infrastructure plans that would support the park. The Chamber of Vicenza would pay for development.

The overall Italian investments in Šamorín are estimated to reach between Sk800 million (€20.6 million) and Sk1 billion (€30 million).

Once the park is complete, 15 production halls will house 10 to 15 Italian firms working in the field of electronics and light machinery.

About 500 people will find new jobs there. The first production halls are expected to open in the second half of 2005.

Šamorín Mayor Domsitz is optimistic about the future. "We visited Vicenza several times. We saw what [the companies] did there and how strong their economic background is. I appreciate the partnership. The fact that we've worked with a single partner - the Industrial Chamber of Vicenza - has been favourable," he said.

According to him, Šamorín is attractive to the Italian business community since it is located near Bratislava as well as the borders of Hungary and Austria.

They can take advantage of three airports - Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest - as well as the highways.

Italian Nicola Perucconi works at the Service Centre for Industry in Šamorín. He told The Slovak Spectator: "Slovakia is not far from Italy, and Slovakia's fiscal policy and low labour costs are very attractive. In addition, [Slovakia's] central position in the newly opened Central and Eastern Europe creates new market opportunities."

Perucconi said that the Italian companies would first produce goods for the Italian market. In the future, the firms would like to export their products throughout Europe.

Following is a list of a few of the companies planning to establish production facilities in the new Šamorín industrial park:

Calearo Slovakia - Headquartered in Isola Vicentina Calearo, Calearo produces car and mobile antennas. The company employs 200 people in Italy; its annual turnover is €30 million.

Eltra Slovakia - Eltra produces encoders and electronic scanners. The company operates mainly in Europe with some presence in America, China and South East Asia. In 2002, its encoder production reached 130 thousand pieces; annual turnover stood at €7.1 million. In Italy, the company employs 60 people.

SEA Elektromechanika - Established in the 1960s as a small laboratory, SEA Elektromechanika produces electric transformers for the technology industry. The company has 87 employees and a turnover of €29 million.

EAS Europe - Based in Schio, EAS is an electronics manufacturer with 115 employees. Its turnover in 2002 reached €10.5 million.

TDE MACNO SK - Headquartered in Vicenza, TDE Macno designs, produces and sells products and automated industrial systems. It has 52 employees.

PMS - Mechanical manufacturer

DAKA - Mechanical manufacturer

Hafliger - Plastics manufacturer

CMP Elektroplast - Manufacturer of plastics products

Centrum služieb pre priemysel Vicenza ( Service Centre for Industry Vicenza) - Services

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